If you go down to the Woods Today – you’ll be sure to find some of our storybook summer guest bloggers as they are preparing to share fun woodland books this week on Rainy Day Mum. Today we welcome Thaleia from Something 2 Offer sharing a lovely book In the Woods: Who’s Been Here? bringing it alive in the best way through a Nature Hike. So here I go handing over to Thaleia for today’s Woodland Storybook Summer activity.

Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

We have included links to the products used in this activity. If you buy from these links we may earn a small commission.

I had a hard time narrowing my storybook choice down but finally settles on “In the Woods: Who’s Been Here?” by Lindsay Barrett George. In this story, Cammy and William see signs of wildlife all throughout the forest. The see a nest, some gnawed bark, and some tracks. All of these clues give then ideas of what animals live in the forest.

After reading the book, I decided to take my youngest out for a nature hike along our paved bike path to investigate and see what we could find. I left my other three kids home with their friends and daddy. This was a super fun time with my not quite 2 year old. I think he loves nature about as much as I do. I brought a few tools along with us: magnifying glass and a ruler. I left our Science-on-the-Go kit at home since I didn’t want him to be busy dumping out the contents.


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Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

We saw a turtle sunning himself on the roots of a large tree in the river. We heard birds chirping back and forth. We never saw the birds but we heard at least three different species while we were on the path.We found some mushrooms growing but left them alone since they could be poisonous.

Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

We found some deer tracks which I measured. We found some moss which my son leaned over with his magnifying glass to take a close look.

Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

When we got home we decided to investigate animals and their tracks. We own the Safari Ltd Wild North American Wildlife TOOB® which contains twelve animals, including: a Mountain Lion, Wolf, Elk, Big Horn Ram, Bison, River Otter, Raccoon, Pronghorn Buck, Moose, Grizzly Bear and Beaver. I found some free printable cards with pictures and information for each animal from Pinay Homeschoolers.

Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

I also decided to make my own clay disk animal tracks to further our investigation. (I made these earlier in the week when the kids were still asleep so they would be a surprise!) My toddler actually woke up while I was finishing them. He found them a few days later after they were dry and got them down off the counter by himself!

Woodland Nature hike and extension activities to do at home with young kids, bringing books about the forest alive for kids this summer.

We also checked out some books from the library to learn more about the animals from our North American Animal collection. We didn’t find books for all of the animals but a nice selection to extend our learning.

TRM-summer-2015-headshotThaleia is a mother of four children (3 boys and 1 girl). Learning how #Type1Diabetes creates a “new normal”.

She shares frugal educational ideas for toddlers, preschool, and school age whether homeschooled or not.

Her family enjoys sharing their travel adventures as well as their journey to a more natural and healthy lifestyle.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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