Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter Nature Study Area and Bristlecone Pine Forest

A happy new year to all of you!  I hope you are enjoying the last few days of the Christmas season.  After our Advent weeks we decided to just hang out during these twelve days of Christmas.  Patiently waiting for the Three Kings ; ).   However, one corner of my house continues to get activity: our Nature Study table.  We set it up early December and our treks just keep the kids putting treasures on it and playing with what I set up weeks ago.  Our theme, in case your wondering, is snow and cold weather. 

Let me back track a few months to October.  The boys and my husband took a quick camping trip to Bristlecone Pine Forest in Bishop CA.  They were hoping to catch some nice weather before the winter arrived and just have a guys trip.  Well, the boys loved their trip, but besides the pine cones and nature sights they got a taste of some real winter weather.  It was pretty cold, there was snow on the ground at the higher elevations, and it actually snow stormed on them:

"Dad, those are some pretty dark clouds!"

Bristlecones covered in snow
Mr. Snowman
Real snow falling!!!
Needless to say, they had to drive home during this snow fall.  They didn't have the right tent or snow tires : 0  But the boys were just amazed at the weather and what it can do.  I put together all our snow books, especially our Jan Brett lovelies, in our book basket.  We've also been reading about Wilson Bentley and snowflakes.  I printed a copy of a snowflakes chart to put on our board:

For the little guys I purchased some mitten, hat and hedgehog wood cut outs to practice sorting.  They've also been enjoying the snowman tic tac toe board (that one has gotten a lot of use already). Not pictured, but they've also been enjoying making snowflake cut outs which are now all over the table.  And like I said; the constant adding of treasures from our nature walks is always evident ; )

This has been fun because the boys had not seen snow before and the first hand experience was just perfect for them.  Our over night temperatures have been pretty low lately so it's caused visible frost a couple of times.  When we've driven around early in the morning the boys wish it was raining so that it could be snow instead of frost ; )