Parents looking for ways to get their school age kids excited about nature and science don't need fancy equipment or to travel very far from home to do it.
Just take a page from Tacoma educator Gabriel Newton's play book, or rather his guide book.
As part of the science curriculum at Charles Wright, the Tacoma teacher and his elementary school (known as Lower School) students created the Peach Creek Field Guide.
The spiral bound guidebook was made by the Tacoma students and features full color drawings of the plant and animal life they observed in the woods surrounding our 90-acre campus. You can download a free copy here (scroll down the page). Newton is a big fan of the great outdoors and a former educator at Tacoma's Nature Center. According to him, creating a field guide is a great way to make science fun for kids. It also keeps little ones engaged during hikes and also encourages great classroom and lab skills like quiet observation.
Want to try something similar at home? This weekend is a great opportunity as it marks the annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The four-day event is coordinated by the Audubon Society and engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a snapshot of winter bird populations. The best part? It doesn't require any special gear to participate.
Looking for more ways to make science fun for your kids? South King, Pierce and Thurston County parents can register their child to attend Charles Wright Academy's Science Saturday 2013. The event is slated for Saturday, March 16. Its free and open to boys and girls in grades 1-6. Partipants may not be current CWA students. Spaces always fill up fast and advance registration is required. Get more details here.