DISCLAIMER: I am an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases made from the links in this post at no additional cost to you. Many of the items we selected for sample collection had fallen to the ground. I do not recommend teaching your children to collect live plants from the parks that you visit, especially if they cross state lines, as this many not be allowed or could cause disease outbreaks or infestations.
We packed an backpack for the kids full of ‘explorer gear’ and made our way to the woods nearby. We told the kids that we were going to go and explore nature. They were beyond excited!
Inside the ‘explorer pack’ was a couple blank notebooks (found in the Target bins), crayons, an empty peanut butter jar for sample collection, shovel, ruler, magnifying glass, two guidebooks to Ohio wildflowers and a camera (we have this pink one and here’s a similar one in blue).
We allowed the kids to explore whatever they wished. We looked for bugs, plants, seeds, flowers, leaves, sticks, etc. My youngest loved looking at several items with the magnifying glasses and making ‘notes’ in her notebook. My oldest drew items to find for a scavenger hunt in her notebook which included an orange flower, 5 trees, a stick, a lily pad and a piece of grass. She loved taking photos of the items that she found.
My husband and I pointed out interesting items along the way and facts that we knew from nature. We found interesting plants, pine cones, beautiful flowers and plankton, just to name a few. We also saw many bees, dragon flies, butterflies and birds. We also heard bull frogs.
When we returned home, we looked at each of the items that we had in our sample jar under our portable microscope. Take a look at the images below! We actually saw a bug climbing out of one of them!
This was such a fun family day and we all learned so much about nature. This is an activity that could be easily done in your own backyard.
What outdoor places do you love to explore with your kids? What other items can you think of that you would pack for your little explorer?