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Little Nature Guides!

I’m Alessandra and own a company called Lala’s Pequenos.  I’m thrilled to be able to share my tutorial with you! One of my favorite activities to do with my family is take guided nature walks. Like a great teacher, a good nature interpreter can spark children’s curiosity and encourage children to explore the world around them. They teach basic ecological principles and help children understand that everything in nature is important.
Our family has been the caretaker of an amazing rain forest mountain in Costa Rica, and as such, our children have taken part in wonderful nature walks with our resident guides. They love to learn about the tiny poison dart frogs, lizards and snakes that slither up and down the mountain. 
As they have gotten older, they have learned to be guides themselves and take pride in passing on the information to their friends and visitors to the project. 

When we moved back to Virginia, we decided to create our own nature walk in our back yard. When friends and family come to visit, the boys are eager to take them on a walk!
The first thing we did was to identify the tree and plant species. 
A great resource was the identification guide at the Arbor Day Foundation. 
Next, we needed some supplies to make our own botanical markers. 

You’ll need:
-Flat stones, wood, or pottery to write the info on. River rocks have a great flat surface and we found ones that are large enough to write the common as well as the Latin name of the plant. 
-Sharpies come in a paint marker and they are easy to use to write on surfaces like stone and wood. 
-Fabric scraps or paper cut-outs 
-Adhesive spray
-Clear sealant spray
First, clean the surface area of the stones well and let dry. Take the fabric or paper cut-outs and place them on the stones for positioning. Once, you are happy about the placement spray the backs with the adhesive and immediately affix to the stones.
Use your sharpie and write the names of the plant or tree species on the stones and spray the sealant ove
r the whole rock.




What shapes are the leaves? Are there blooming flowers? Are there animals that live with the tree or plant? Does it have a smell?
Don’t stop at your yard- make markers for your park! How fun would it be to see your little guide conducting tours to all those kids at the park!


8 thoughts on “Little Nature Guides!

  1. What a wonderful tutorial! I will sure keep this in mind. My guys are a little to big for this but I'm sure it will come in handy at some point. :0)

  2. I LOVE this idea!!! We'll do this for sure! Our yard, our park… we'll learn and teach other too. Thank you for this inspiration.
    Blessings and magic,
    Donni of Fairyfolk

  3. What a great idea! The kids would really enjoy this and Max would love being a tree guide!
    Beccijo
    http://www.theenchantedcupboard.etsy.com

  4. I adore these! We are reading Anna Comstocks, "Handbook of Nature Study" and it would make a perfect project!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. I find this post to be most helpful! I can't wait to get started….
    Phyllis

  6. Maybe we'll do some of the stone markers in our garden!

    I envy that you lived in a rainforest and were able to experience it close up. What a great experience for the kids!

  7. I loved this post so much I've shared it with my readers over on Go Explore Nature: http://bit.ly/aeOwkD

  8. Thank you for sharing this lovely idea. This is something I would love to do with the kids at our preschool – we have a lovely bush path that leads to the school next door full of gorgeous Australian natives, and markers along the way would be a wonderful idea.

    I'm going to share this on my blog as a part of my "nature play friday" tips 🙂

    http://progressivepreschooleducation.blogspot.com

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