On the last day of the year, we set off to explore nature in our neighborhood. Big Sister filled her backpack with a magnifying glass, binoculars, and guides to local birds and plants.
Little Brother put on his Batman getup.
I'd been waiting for ages to break out this fun nature scavenger hunt game I purchased from blynkenandnod on Etsy. I'm not sure if she's selling these anymore, but you could easily make something similar. It's a set of cards with objects that can often be found on a playground, in a park, or on a neighborhood nature walk. The cards look like this:
Photo courtesy of blynkenandnod.
I gave each kid a set of cards with items for them to find. In no time, Little Brother (with a bit of help from his sister) had found several items. Pinecone, dry leaf, bark -- check!
We walked to the creek, as the sun started going down. Big Sister found many of the items on her list there. Beautiful weed, jagged edge leaf -- check!
We soon found ourselves hiking in the dark. A night hike is quite an exciting way to greet the new year!
Sticks, snails -- check!
When finished off the evening with sparklers at our neighbors' house. Do you remember your first experience with sparklers? Such an amazing thing for a kid.
As we welcomed 2012, we each took stock of the past year with a Year in Review questionnaire from Three Little Monkeys Studio.
favorite food: macaroni and cheese
favorite activity: cuddling with Silky
greatest lesson learned in 2011: how to read
hardest thing of 2011: how to write with my hand
best thing of 2011: I got a new Silky.
thing to practice more in 2012: being an acrobat
looking forward to in 2012: doing things fun
favorite food: guacamole
favorite activity: hot fire gun and battling bad guys
greatest lesson learned in 2011: battling bad guys
hardest thing of 2011: battling bad guys
best thing of 2011: I like to battle bad guys.
thing to practice more in 2012: battling bad guys
looking forward to in 2012: battling bad guys
favorite food: pizza
favorite activity: traveling with family
favorite book: O'Connor's Causes of Action
greatest lesson learned in 2011: Keep it simple.
hardest thing of 2011: time management
best thing of 2011: Christmas
thing to practice more in 2012: time management
looking forward to in 2012: watching personalities of kids develop
favorite food: enchiladas (with margaritas!)
favorite activity: sewing after a fun day with family and couch-time talking and laughing with Mr. Great
favorite book: my Google reader full of awesome blogs
greatest lesson learned in 2011: Taking care of myself is part of taking care of my family.
hardest thing of 2011: making time for everything I want and need to do
best thing of 2011: watching kids grow and develop
thing to practice more in 2012: stress management, making peace with chaos and noise
looking forward to in 2012: family adventures
Hope your 2012 is off to a great start!