On an overcast morning in late March, my daughter and I headed to one of our favorite places to explore in nature (and are fortunate to live pretty close to): Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, OR. I brought along with us a new book, Backyard Explorer: On the Nature Trail.
This book, intended for kids ages 4 and up, is chock full of nature facts, activities, and quality photographs and delightful illustrations suitable to accompany exploration on a nature trail in a forested area or possibly even urban parks and public gardens. Trail Tips are given at the beginning, and then the book turns to topical sections (on Leaves, Birds, Insects, Squirrels, Worms, Toads, Mushrooms, Seeds, Flowers, Butterflies, Spiders, and Tracks). On each of those pages there is a spot for kids to place a Nature Patch sticker, marking that they saw that item on their nature walk. Here my daughter marks the page for Leaves with a Nature Patch sticker.
In between the topical sections are other pages covering a wide variety of other subjects – many through activities – from making musical instruments from natural materials and basic cloud identification to creating nature art and an animal hide and seek game. At the end of the book is an activity for making your own adventure map, using a fold out page and a variety of fun stickers. While the map activity might just have to wait until my daughter is a little older, she absolutely loved marking pages with their matching stickers when we came across something on the trail. Here, after marking for Flowers after seeing many a trillium along the trail, she takes a look at the variety of flowers displayed in the book.
Sometimes kids need an extra little motivation to move along on a trail. A book like Backyard Explorer: On the Nature Trail – equipped with its very own mini magnifying glass – can surely be a remedy for this! And to make getting outside more fun for a family out there, the publisher is currently hosting a giveaway: enter by April 23, 2018 to win a prize package that includes a copy of the book, an REI kids’ backpack sized for ages 5–8); a water bottle, a headlamp, a $50 REI giftcard, and more.
Title: Backyard Explorer: On the Nature Trail
Author: Editors of Storey Publishing
Published by: Storey Publishing, 2018
Pages: 48, spiral-bound inside hard covers
Suggested Age: Preschool, Elementary (Lower)
Review from Foreword Reviews
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Exploring Nature with a City Kid from Storey Publishing