Explorer’s Box

29 09 2011

This rather unexpected warm weather means I had to reconsider my plans for an autumn walk with LBM and BBL because it’s just too hot to be thinking about conkers and leaves. I’m thinking about cool drinks with condensation on the outside and some form of salted snack whilst sitting in the sun…Anyway our house gets so hot in this kind of weather that we decamped to the Grandparents. I thought I’d still stick with some kind of nature investigation so took our Explorers Box – it has a items in it which mean we can have a good look at anything interesting we find when we’re out and about (by the way – if you’re scared of spiders you’ll be pleased to know that’s not a real spider in the magnifying box but the identification card underneath – the real spiders are in the next picture!)

The box includes a pencil and a pad, magnifying glass, bug collecting jar, magnifying box, tweezers and a pack of Usborne cards with things to find in the garden. (it also has handwarmers for cold weather exploring. Not practical this week!) There were surprisingly few bugs around though  so after we’d found one spider it became a bit a bit hard to keep LBM engaged. However, when it came to releasing the spider LBM perked up and immediately chose the drain cover to return Incy Wincy to his home. Whether he made it anywhere safely we’ll never know but I’m sure the large spider already living there was not best pleased to discover another one had just been thrown into his house. Whoops!

BBL also got to participate a little in the spidery activity after “reading” an Incy Wincy spider book with sounds. Reading books outside makes the experience very different and BBL is just starting to develop an interest in them. Take books with you whenever you go outside because it makes them a much more valued part of play. The Explorers Box also helps to encourage literacy as it includes the identification cards and a notebook for recording finds. Whether they can write or not any mark making in the book helps children understand the link between what you’ve found and how to record information. As long as you date and annotate it for little ones you’ll be able to keep a record of what you’ve discovered together. That’ll be spiders for us then!

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