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Wildflowers make me happy.
Of all the treasures of nature, nothing brings quite the smile to my face and peace to my heart as wildflowers. All flowers are beautiful, but there’s just something about the flowers that weren’t planted by the hands of a human that make God seem just a little bit closer.
This spring (after an incredibly long winter) it seemed as if all the flowers that ever grow in our yard burst forth in bloom at once. We have filled our farm yard with plenty of fruit trees and other brightly flowering trees and a few perennials that don’t count as wildflowers. But, before the first lawn cutting, the yard also happens to be full of a large variety of wildflowers.
How many flowers can you find?
Eli (7) has been a NaturExplorer for many years now and he’s studied his fair share of flowers already. Getting him to notice the amazing beauty that was blooming all over our yard this spring was a bit of a challenge because he thought there wasn’t much new to be discovered. I had to put on my thinking cap to find a way to spark his interest.
A challenge! Yes, a manly challenge was in order. “Eli, I wonder just how many flowers we have growing in our yard right now? Stand on the porch and make a guess. Ten, you say? Maybe. I challenge you to find as many different flowers – wild or not – as you can growing in our yard right now. But…you have to prove to me how many you’re able to find. I’m going to give you my phone and every time you find a new flower, take a picture of it. Sound exciting? Good. Go!”
My little plan worked. Not only was he super-motivated for this scavenger hunt of sorts, it meant he had to observe differences, make comparisons and look for detail. He also naturally wanted to know the flower names, which we talked about. And, he was honing his macro-photography skills!
Eli was proud of his pictures and I wanted to do something with them to let him know his pictures matter. What better than a follow-up activity to keep the learning going??
Together, we downloaded all our pictures. I say our pictures because I had my camera out photographing flowers at the same time as him. I find it very motivating for my children to see mom joining in on the activity.
I allowed him to choose his favorite pictures to upload to PicMonkey and taught him how to make photo collages. The collages you see directly above and below are his creations. Now, not all these are his photos. Let’s just say lots of his came out a little fuzzy because he has some work to do in macro-photgraphy. So, I let him choose his favorite photos from our collection.
He found more than 20 types of flowers, by the way!
Nature study always offers bonuses.
While we were getting up close and personal with the flowers in our yard, Eli found a nest of Eastern Tent Caterpillars in the crook of a fruit tree. He wanted to know all about them, so we stopped right then and there to request some help from Siri. “Siri, tell us about fruit tree tent caterpillars in central KY.” Low and behold, we learned all about the caterpillars in a matter of moments. Thank you, iPhone.
Wildflowers aren’t just for girls.
Boys might think the study of wildflowers (or any flower) is for girly-girls. Of course, as parents, we know there is SO much to be learned about biology and the cycle of life from these beautiful little bursts of color. Sometimes, it takes creativity to convince boys that wildflowers aren’t for sissies. This nature study photography project (which is good for ANY age) is one of those moments of creativity.
In the Wonderful Wildflowers NaturExplorers study, ideas like this and MANY more have already been dreamed up for you. There are 27 different creative nature walks and well over 50 ideas for creative projects to keep the learning going at home. Enjoy the spring, summer and autumn flowers this year many, many times over – oh, and learn A LOT, too!
Photography walks aren’t just for wildflowers.
You could use this same photography idea for just about any topic in nature!
- Rock types, textures, sizes
- Leaf types, shapes, colors
- Insect types, colors
- Spider webs types
- Cloud types, shapes
- The list is really endless
If you like creative homeschooling or would like to simply turn nature walks into educational adventures, I think you might love my newest book, 100+ Creative Nature Walks for All Ages.
Now, tell me about your latest nature walk!