We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.
— Charlotte Mason
As a child I didn’t even want to go for a walk but now as a parent myself, going for walks is just who we are as a family. We love exploring the outdoors and I am learning so much alongside the children. We try to make time to get outside away from the rush of life and savour all the seasonal sounds, smells and intricate design that surround us daily.
The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Mary Cicely Barker: Beautiful short and descriptive poems about individual plants and trees with stunning detailed illustrations. We also use the illustrations to help us in plant identification. 4+ years
Around the Year by Elsa Beskow: Short and simple seasonal poems for each month of the year with gorgeous illustrations. 3+ years
Great for families or groups with an age range as there is something for everyone, whether you homeschool or are a teacher or for something to dip into on the weekends and in the holidays. We have loved this over the past few years with children aged 9,7 & 3. Each week we have gone for a walk looking out for the weekly topic and followed it up with some sketching or using field guides to identify plants. It includes a painting and a poem for each week. Just wonderful! I stick the painting up by our kitchen table to appreciate together each week. You can view a sample of the curriculum here. For all ages.
The web is full of places to search for ideas but if you are short on time here are some that I have found helpful to look for ideas of things to do or places to visit:
The Wildlife Trusts Great website to find your local nature reserves.
Bucks, Berks & Oxon Wildlife Trust Your local Wildlife Trust group will advertise events and groups here, as well as local reserves.
National Trust Full of ideas of beautiful houses and gardens to visit across the U.K.
Earth Trust An educational and environmental charity in South Oxfordshire. A year round calendar of events for all ages.
Woodland Trust A vast array of resources and information on trees, as well as the ‘Nature Detectives’ section. Highly recommend having a look here.
RSPB Great resources and places to visit for birdwatchers.
Butterfly Conservation For reserves to enjoy and tips for getting know and care for butterflies.