Have a young explorer in your world — a child, grandchild, niece/nephew, or child you babysit? Want a secret weapon up your sleeve? Pack a Nature Knapsack.
Find an inexpensive backpack that fits the child. A ratty old one they no longer use for school works great. Remember, it is going to see a lot of dirt, mud, and grass stains — so you don’t want to be afraid to let it get dirty. DIRTY!
- magnifying glass
- bug boxes
- small notebook and pencil or animal sticker book for very young children
- compass (depending on the age of the child)
- old butter tubs or glass jars w/ lids (holes poked in either type of lid; catch & release rules apply!)
- inexpensive binoculars
- field guide
- water bottle
- baggies or containers for collecting items
No pressure to fill it with all these goodies. Add as many or as few as you like — and you can add over time, as the child ages. Hang it by the door or put it in a special place in the child’s room and they will be ready to go explore any time and see what Mother Nature has to offer!
Exploring the natural world is a never-ending game of chance and wonder, and far healthier than playing video games or watching TV. A Nature Knapsack can help you encourage time outdoors for the kids in your world. Who knows, you may just want to pack one for yourself, too. (Um, mine is red.)
See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru