Nature Exchange

Today we visited the Nature Exchange at the Springs Preserve.

Isabel pressed a hollyhock and wrote this report on it.


At the Nature Exchange, kids can bring in something from nature, a rock, shell, leaf, et cetera, they get extra points if they have researched and written about it.  They then can use those points to “buy” something in the store that another child has brought in.  I didn’t get a picture of Luke with his, but he caught two wasps and wrote a report on them.  The volunteers there were wonderful.  One of them is a retired gate teacher.  I was a little worried that Luke and Isabel might not have done it “right” or might have been discouraged in some way but these wonderful women know how to fuel the natural curiosity and excitment in children about nature.  Luke asked so many questions and they got out scorpions, tarantulas and anything he wanted to see and talk about.  Here Luke is telling her the story about how one of the wasps he caught because it landed in Sylvia’s bowl of oatmeal.


Their reports get put up on a bulletin board and later into a binder.  Isabel picked out a branch with two pinecones attached and Luke got the exoskeleton of some scorpion or spider thingy and a huge wasp.  The woman there encouraged Luke to buy an insect box to pin and store his bugs.  Anyone know where I can pick up one of those?


Here is Isabel learning that there are male and female pinecones…who knew? not me.


A fun magnifier thingy (that’s the scientific word I made up for it.)


Sylvia has been planting vegetables in the yard with Joey.  Last night she was able to pick a couple for dinner.  Here are a few things that Sylvia has learned today (or at least that I’ve tried to explain to her.)

– You can NOT cut things longer.
–  becoming a Cheerios box when you grow up is not a good career option.
-You can’t marry your baby sister.
-No matter how much you want to wear Pull Ups again, because they have cute cartoon characters on them, you can’t “grow down.”



2 thoughts on “Nature Exchange

  1. That nature place looks so cool. I’d love to just go there without kids. I especially like that “magnifier thing.” There is no way a science lesson in public school could be so informative and encouraging. I don’t remember anything I read from a Science text book. From all the years of science (K-College) I mostly remember the silk worms because we all had to be so involved. Oh, I guess I remember learning about cloud formations too (10th grade)…I thought that was pretty cool.

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