Nature tour vs pokemon go is a nice change of pace to spark science education

Take a break from looking for pokemons and look for real things in nature

Walking tours to catch Pokemons have been the rage for awhile. How about taking a break from the search for these little creatures and go for a nature walk to look for real things in nature? Gary D. Robson's "Who Pooped in Central Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids" will get your kids outside and spark interest in a nature walk with all kinds of discoveries about animals. Parks offer a resource for some great walking tours and Dobson's "Central Park" is the 20th title in his bestselling series of "Who Pooped in the Park". Your kids are sure to quickly pick up on the fun title and want to go out after reading to discover their own animal tracks around the neighborhood and to take a family outing to a nature park.

Central Park is a perfect place to take a nature walk. Tom, Lily, Jackson, and Emma set off on a walking tour of Central Park and are amazed at the different kinds of animals, birds, and scat (poop) that can be found in the park. Raccoons, muskrats, and large birds offer a variety of tracks to study and compare. They discover famous landmarks such as Turtle Pond, Belvedere Castle, and the large museums around the park as they walk along to discover tracks and "poop" known as scat that each animal has left in the park.

"Who Pooped in Central Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids" is filled with colorful and detailed illustrations by Robert Rath. Each page features a different animal with its tracks and scat that can be found in Central Park. Interesting facts about the animals, birds, and fish that make the park their home are of interest. They learn that chipmunks were not seen in Central Park for a long while but they are back. Dobson includes two additional pages of facts about tracks and scat with his "Tracks and Notes" found at the conclusions of the book. A small map of Central Park is included.

"Who Pooped in Central Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids" was published by FarCountry Press and has an ISBN of 978-1-56037-654-5. It is recommended for ages 8-12.

What made those tracks and scat?

Tracks and Scat in Central park
Tracks and Scat in Central park | Source

Backyard discoveries also provide activity to investigate tracks and scat

It may not always be possible to visit a national park. Your own backyard can also offer the opportunity to discover what animal have made tracks and left scat behind. You never know what will appear in your backyard. Communities like Sarasota, Florida have an abundance of wildlife that live peacefully in the neighborhoods. Wild birds, bunnies, and large turtles or tortoises can often be seen in one's yard. Children are given the opportunity to see wildlife on a daily basis along with the family dog that also makes tracks and scat. Encourage your children to investigate their own backyard for great discoveries. Be sure to take photos to share.

Backyard tracks and scat discoveries

Tall crane has tiny tracks
Tall crane has tiny tracks
Hawk overseeing its neighborhood
Hawk overseeing its neighborhood
surprise visit from a bunny
surprise visit from a bunny
family dog investigates a visit from a large turtle
family dog investigates a visit from a large turtle

STEM and nature walks

The national move toward the STEM curriculum in schools is a hot topic in education. The S in STEM stands for science. Good jobs for our children's future depend on a sound knowledge of science concepts. Nature provides a perfect source for sparking an interest in science. Early childhood educators know that science concepts can be introduced at an early age and nature walks are a perfect way to get young children engaged in a science activity. Real objects such as rocks, acorns, and leaves are intriguing to children, and children are also drawn to animals in nature. Children have a natural curiosity for natural things and nature walks provide hands-on collections and investigations. The M in STEM stands for math and discoveries made in nature also provide the opportunity to develop math skills. Measuring the size of animal or bird tracks is an example of a math skill. Children can also compare shapes and patterns of tracks. The skill of making predictions about what might have left the "poop" or scat will intrigue children while on the nature walk. Nature walks offer a wealth of learning opportunities to enhance the concepts of a STEM curriculum at school.

Future jobs that require knowledge from STEM curriculum

STEM graph of future jobs for our children
STEM graph of future jobs for our children

Providing activities that promote science concept

How do you as a parent provide opportunities for children to learn science and math concepts

  • Family outings to parks or museums
  • Books, videos, or hands-on creative activitie
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    Cindy Hewitt (chewtt2)12 Followers
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    Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.



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