This activity was inspired by our Bird Spotting activity. It took me a
little long while to get organised, though it really isn’t very difficult at all. I wanted a more portable version of our activity. At first I made this one for our trip to Regina, Canada, using birds common there at that time of the year.
For this one I used a card blank and printed pics of birds, pasted them in and laminated the card. We took the card and a wipe-off marker with us to count the birds that we sighted.
This worked well, but would have been a bit cumbersome for all the birds we may spot here, so I did a little thinking and planning about what I wanted to do. While in Canada I purchased some file folders as I cannot find the same type over here and I quite miss them. I folded over the bottom edge and made two little cut outs as you can see. Then I laminated the folder with sticky-backed plastic for extra durability.
I took some of the soft side of some velcro tape I had in my sewing box (don’t laugh, I don’t sew anymore as I don’t have a machine, but I did enjoy it in my early teens. I’m still occassionally forced to sew on a button or darn a sock; thus the sewing box) and glued it along the inside of the folder. I’ve used two colours here, as it’s what I had on hand and there’s no sense in buying more when you already have it. It’s ok to be frugal in times of austerity!
The reason I’ve used the soft side of the velcro is that I needed much more of one side than the other. You can purchase velco ‘dots’ in many places, and these are all ‘rough’. My camera club used these affixed to the back of our mounts to hang our photos at the exhibition we put on in May. When it came time to take the photos down, I asked everyone to save their dots for me as I had a project in mind for them. I received a few strange looks, but in the name of reuse and recycle and saving my money, it was worth it!
I’ve used pictures of birds, bugs, and plants that are common to the area (either finding pictures available on the internet or ones we’ve taken ourselves) and glued them to some cardstock. Next of course came the laminating so that will weather the rain we inevitable get while out walking. Then I’ve glued on one of the little velcro dots to the back of each picture.
The picture cards sit in the pockets at the bottom of the folder, ready to come out and be placed on the board when we see it.
I haven’t labeled the fron of this folder so that it can be used for various purposes. Because the picture cards can add up quickly, we can decide ahead of time if we’d rather look for bugs one day, sea birds another, or plants another. Or we can look for a mix of them on the same walk if we choose!
Because we’re still learning the names of some of these items, we have put the name on the front, under the photo. But for the more advanced, you could wite the name on the back or leave it off all together. Or you could put little facts about the plants (blooms from May-Sept, for example).
Have a great time on your nature walks! What is your favourite thing to spot?