I have seen it – have you? The sprouting of spring – small hints that warmer weather is coming. It’s time to get on your boots, grab your nature books, and go exploring!
Have you noticed the moss or mirco-ferns showing up under the melting snow? The skunk cabbage coming up under the thick, muddy stream banks? The snow drops adding green and white on the brown grass?
Try Kaufmans’ Field Guide to Nature of New England for a good, general eco-guide.
If you want to learn more about the ferns you’ve just discovered – utilize A. Hallowell and B. Hallowell’s Fern Finder. This classic, pocket-size guide will have you identifying ferns employing characteristics such as pinna, division, alternate, clustered, frond, fiddlehead, and sporangia. Maybe you also want to look at a fungi–specific nature guide - Mushrooms of Northeast North Americaby George Barron is a great choice! —
My daughter likes digging in the dirt, unearthing, exploring – finding the worms. She’s quite an observer and we’re always stopping to look at “footprints” during our jaunts in the woodlands and meadows. Children notice the littlest details while investigating nature – especially scat and animal tracks. Utilize the Falcon Guide to Scats and Tracks of the Northeast by Halfpenny and Bruchac. This is a perfect guide for learning together. —
Are you just Naturally Curious about the seasons in New England? Look to Mary Holland’s monthly nature guide for the flora, fauna, and ecosystems to take note of during spring, summer, autumn, and/or winter. —
It’s never been more important for kids to spend time outdoors! Warmer weather and longer-lit spring days make it that much easier. If you need any more reasons to encourage your kids to be IN nature, read Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Timbernook Founder Angela Hanscom’s book entitled Balanced and Barefoot. Hansom explains how unrestricted outdoor play offers youngsters a chance to be more creative, more confident, more engaged, and happier! Hanscom noted a rise in sensory issues in children, and documents how playtime outside helped children thrive and manage their frustrations related to sensory changes. Children need to dig for worms, roll down grassy hills, and climb trees!