Monday, June 14, 2010

Grandaddy Longlegs!

While we were hiking, we kept seeing these massive grandaddy longleg spider clusters on rocks! Really creepy looking! I love to pose questions like: If your legs were as long as a grandaddy longleg's in relation to your body, you would be about 40 feet tall. What would that be like? What could you do?

Things to point out while hiking:
  • Placement of the sun, telling time by the sun.

  • We talk alot about emergency shelters, point out trees which would be useful for shelter, we talk about how we would use trees and other materials to shelter against rain. We get alot of good material from Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild (one of our favorite shows).

  • Recently, we have talked about flash flooding and what we would do, how to protect ourselves by choosing campsites. This has also sparked an interest in clouds - we want to know more about reading the clouds for signs of bad weather.

  • We love to cut open a cactus lobe and talk about using it as survival food and water source.

  • We point out bugs, rocks, and plants that are interesting. We were hiking this weekend near an old Indian campsite and we attempted to keep an eye out for arrowheads!

  • We always try to look for things that don't belong, we always look for clues to what has been going on in the woods, signs of animals, that kind of thing, to our kids it's like solving a mystery.
We really want our kids to develop minds that are active and aware of their surroundings, comfortable in the outdoors and aware of how to use the outdoors to survive or equip themselves in an emergency. B often complains when I get all "nature walky" and get talking about plants & he says can this JUST be like physical education and not science? But, you don't have to try very hard to make a hike very educational - just talking together & answering their questions allows plenty of learning!

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