I realized that part of why I don't post is because I think I should have an elaborate project/experiment ready to go. And while I had at least one of those ready this winter (which the oldest kid didn't want to do because he preferred to play Minecraft — tho I'll share it later as I think it could be fun), I think I need to remember that especially for young children, just simple exposure to the wonders of nature is a good thing. On that note, I heard a segment on NPR earlier today about a new book by Dr. Scott the Paleontologist. You may already familiar with Dr. Scott, who is actually Scott D. Sampson and the host of PBS's Dinosaur Train. I think I've mentioned Dinosaur Train in other posts, but in case you're unfamiliar with it, it's a cartoon which features the adventures of a pteranodon family (which includes an adopted tyrannosaurus rex) as they travel through the Mesozoic in a time-traveling train learning about different dinosaur and other animal species of that epoch. I think I enjoy it more than the children, but that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, Dr. Scott, who is also the chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has written a new book, How to Raise a Wild Child. I haven't read it yet (it will be released on March 24) but hope to do so. In his interview, Dr. Scott mentioned that he wrote it because he thinks we have one generation to start getting things right with our planet and that generation is the one that's currently growing up. He said that often it's just important to have kids observe and make them be aware of what's going around them. I think he's right. After all, at its most basic, science is about observation, right? To that end, this winter wasn't an entire bust, even if it was on the blog (again, sorry!). We spotted squirrel dens (made visible by the lack of leaves on the tree), picked up plastic on our walks from school (our sewer grates clearly state that they drain to rivers and other waterways), and noticed how the difference in temperature between our bodies and the outside air made snowflakes melt very quickly. So I'll be posting a few experiments you can do inside (and soon, outside!) in the coming weeks but in the meantime, go out and observe the signs of springtime! Enjoy!