Sometimes you come across a book that just inspires you to go explore! That’s exactly what happened when we opened the pages of Welcome to the Neighborwood by Shawn Sheehy.
This adorably illustrated pop-up books features seven woodland creatures as they build their homes in the same forest area. And the pages are just amazing!
Who Lives in the Forest? A Book Walk for Kids
Readers of Welcome to the Neighborwood will be able to peek inside a 3D beehive! And see how the same woodland area is the perfect home to snails, beavers, hummingbirds and bees.
After reading the wonderful details & facts on each page (a few times :), I thought the perfect book activity would be a walk in our own woods so we can see who might call the local forest ‘home’.
We are blessed to have a wonderful trail system that weaves through miles of wooded area near our house. It’s perfect for summer bike rides or nice long walks. Wooded areas can be found throughout the world, many times a visit to your local park will reward you with a small forest area that can be explored.
I created a printable to bring along so we could record some of our findings.
Be sure to print off your own “Who Lives in Our Neighbor-wood?” sheet before you head off to explore a woodland area near you!
As you set off for a forest walk, be sure to talk to your kids about the fact that you are indeed visiting someone else’s home. With young children, I like to ask them “What do people do when they visit your home?”
For example, do friends come running in the door yelling? Or do they walk in, say ‘hello’ and wait to be shown around the house?
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some forest friends, be sure to remind kids to use their quiet or inside voices as you visit the woods.
And look ALL around! Peek up in the trees where you might find birds and squirrels (we even saw an owl resting in a tree one day!). Look on the ground to find various insects that might be making their way home — for example, ants and beetles. Check the sides of trees where spiders will build the webs too.
While doing a leaf rubbing on an evergreen tree, we came across two pinecones lying on the forest floor – one that had opened and the other had not before it fell from the tree. We talked about the types of insects that might use a pinecone for their home.
Use the printable to record your adventure — create a leaf or bark rubbing from a tree you like, draw a picture of a woodland animal you spot along with an insect’s home and write what you hear but aren’t able to see.
There is really so much to experience in the forest!
Jacquie is an educator, nature lover and Mom to two curious kids! She shares nature exploration, STEM experiments, children’s literatre and more fun learning activities at Edventures with Kids.