Friday, September 7, 2012

Field Trips - Autumn Walks


Autumn is my favorite season.  There’s the excitement of new school books, the crispness of cool air, and the festive, confetti-like quality of falling leaves.  Have you ever noticed how much autumn sounds like awesome?

               Some of our favorite field trips happen in autumn, too.  For an art/science combo, our Number One favorite is The Walk Around The Block.  This tradition was established when the kids were in preschool.  It involved giving the kids plastic sandwich bags to stuff full with pretty fall leaves.  At home, the leaves were ironed between pieces of waxed paper, framed with construction paper, and hung in the windows where they glowed in the light of the setting sun.

               As our search became more sophisticated, we moved out to local parks and state recreation areas.  Surrounded by leaf color at its peak, discussions on topics like botany, photography, or the color wheel took on new freshness. 

               Before you go out, investigate!  Ask questions, like: why do leaves change color?  What makes a good snapshot?  What colors complement the oranges, reds, and yellows of autumn?

               Locate parks and recreation areas near your home.  Check out their trail maps, entry fees, hours, and parking.  Note any park festivals you would like to attend – or avoid.  See if any naturalists offer onsite walking tours.  Get on your walking shoes and go.     

The Walk Around The Block?  Anytime!  Be sure to bring the bags for the colored leaves, acorns, and other treasures the kids might find.

You might find yourself saying autumn is awesome, too.