Each summer we travel to North Carolina to visit family and escape the heat of Florida. With each visit over the last several years and as our children have gotten older, we’ve tried to explore more of the mountains and surrounding areas. This year we were able to purchase a travel trailer and took a trip that looked a little different with not having to be tied to a hotel room. While packing for the trip, I gathered up a handful of outdoor themed books and easy activities that I found on Pinterest in my never-ending attempt to weave learning and reading into our summer. It’s a struggle and sometimes like pulling teeth for my kids, but every once in a while, I get a smile of interest or excitement over something we’ve learned. Because we were stopping at campsites and had nature at our fingertips, I brought along the Usborne’s 1,000 Things in Nature and tried to find critters and natural items that we discovered in the creek or ground coverings. We also used The Usborne Outdoor Book to guide us on our adventures.
Using Pinterest’s wonderful suggestions, we used glass jars to magnify some of our treasures and also learned about photosynthesis in such a beautiful and simple way!
While the big kids were river rafting, my daughter and I had a wonderful time lifting rocks to find critters, looking for creatively shaped stones, and shuffling along until our feet were numb from the refreshingly cold creek water. Here’s a sampling of some of the treasures we found:
Although I forgot to take a picture of them, we used some of the findings to create the most beautiful “nature ladies” using leaves, pebbles, paper and glue sticks. Here’s where I found the inspiration.
Because we spent a lot of time in the travel trailer and I love a good theme, I used the National Parks as my inspiration for decorating the trailer and trying to make it feel like home. As a part of that, I gathered books from home and created a book nook behind the seating area:
Although summer is coming to and end, I hope we can fit one more weekend in for a trip in our travel trailer. With the Florida heat at this time of year, hopefully that will involve a trip to a crisp and chilly spring!
Happy Summer and Happy Reading to you!