Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Take A Walk And Explore Nature...

71 degrees outside - 10:58 am - cloudy...

I want our children to have love and respect for nature and the world around them.  Growing up in Washington, I spent a lot of my time outside.  I could be found riding my bike around the neighborhood, building forts out of snow, helping my mom in the garden, playing with one of our many pets or lying in the grass reading a book.  My memories are full of camping trips with my family, or road trips where we would go from the sunny beach, to the snow covered mountains, to the dry desert all in one day.

One way to help instill a love of nature in our children is to take nature walks around our property.  Taking the time to be mindful of what we are seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling makes nature walks with the kids more meaningful.  Our walks are usually at a slow pace; the purpose is the journey and not so much the destination.

I am constantly asking the kids:

-         What does the sky look like today?
-         What do you hear?
-         What does the ground look like?
-         What animals can we see?
-         Are there any birds?  Insects?
-         What do the trees look like?
-         What colors do you see?
-         Can you name what this plant is?
-         Have there been any changes since yesterday/the last walk?

the little photographer in action
While looking around at the surrounds around us, we are also keeping our eyes open for signs that animals have been around.  Looking for spider webs, animal tracks, bird’s nests, etc.  When we come across a bug, bird, plant or other creature or object that has the kid’s curiosity up, we will research it together, looking up the name and the specifics about it.  So on the next nature walk the kids will be able to properly identify animals, birds, flowers and trees.

Getting outside and experiencing nature in itself is a wonderful activity.  To further captivate the imagination and creativity of our 6-year-old daughter she takes pictures during our natures walks of plants and animals for her nature book that she started last summer.

Caitlyn's Nature Book

Nature walks tend to generate curiosity and a sense of exploration in children.  They know that the world is wide open for discovery…

out for another nature walk

Fairy Lantern aka Smith's Fairybell
Caitlyn's new favorite flower {I think just because of the name}

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