My four year old has become quite the outdoors adventurer lately. I am always encouraging my children to spend as much time as they can outside but it seems like they have just recently started to get it. To understand how great fresh air and afternoon walks are. To realize how indispensable the sunshine and natural Vitamin D is. To appreciate the songs the birds chirp and the sound of wind whipping through the trees. This is going to be a fantabulous summer… and I am loving it already!!
My youngest mentioned to me one afternoon that she wanted to go outside and look for treasures. We often find shiny objects, small toys, or random knick-knacks left along the road or half buried in dirt and although it’s exciting to come across these random things, the joy my daughter gets when she spots her own treasure is probably pretty comparable to Christmas morning. I mean, her eyes just light up and she squeals to the world about her findings, boasting to anyone nearby that will listen. We usually relocate these goodies nearby to a shaded tree or something for the “garden fairies” to find… something her and my father have come up with. I’ll tell ya, the joys and wonders of childhood. To believe in such things as garden fairies again… -sigh-
I wanted to capture my munchkin’s thoughts and feelings from our walks and adventures so when I came across this printable Explorer Journal from Fleece Fun, I knew it would be a lot of fun. Now a four year old doesn’t write so well, but they can draw and complete check lists with a little help! And that’s exactly what we did. First, you need to download and print your own (free) copy! Visit Fleece Fun here. The entire journal prints onto a regular sized sheet of computer paper and there are directions on how to fold it into a nice booklet.
I love that there are different prompts on each page encouraging a journal entry or drawing, such as “What’s your favorite outdoor activity?” and “What’s your favorite outdoor place?” The first sheet asks, “What’s something new you discovered?” and I thought this was a perfect opportunity to set up an outdoor scavenger hunt.
We were planning a trip to the park so I decided to list some things that I thought we would be able to find on the trails through the woods. I put a check-mark box next to each item and my mini me was in charge of marking off each thing as she found them. I could have gotten fancy and drawn a picture of everything next to the word so I didn’t have to reread every item to her multiple times but we were restricted for time. Maybe on our next trip!
But seriously, checking off each item was the coolest. Mommy wasn’t allowed to touch the special marker. It was a tool exclusive to her which made the whole adventure even more awesome. It’s the little things… that mean the most.
Here she is with the red berries that she found, which was appropriate to satisfy the “something red” category. She spotted ’em all by herself hidden by a bush!
After all was said and done, we had an amazing afternoon that required absolutely no money, no toys, just each other’s company and her handy dandy Explorer Journal. (Anybody familiar with the “handy dandy notebook” from Blues Clues? Another reason my little one thought this thing was so cool.)
Download yours today and see what fun awaits you outside. What things would you look for on your scavenger hunt?? Let those imaginations soar!
For more family friendly crafts and projects, visit MyMilitarySavings.com!