Backyard Exploring, Create A Kids Backyard Exploration Book

I was inspired to do this a couple of years ago by a wonderful blog post, I wish I could find the link to it!! I have been collecting to put this book together ever since. I have done smaller versions, and used parts of it for different areas of study along the way, but now it's all together!! 

We love to get out and explore many different outdoor areas close to home, and in our travels.
On Easter weekend we went for a couple of family walks.  The first was at the Limerick Forest,  Conservation area. The second, was a smaller reforested area close to home!!
We also love to visit the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Stick racing 

A few things we took with us...

I decided to create a fun personalised Backyard Identification Book for our explorations. I used MS Publisher for many pages, MS Word, and many pages I just simply printed.   Everything I have included are common species that the kids are likely to encounter in our area.  There are so many resources available online to do this for any location.

This is what I included:

Common Ontario Birds
Butterflies, Moths , Information Sheet to tell the difference between Butterflies and Moths, and also a Life Cycle Sheet
Dragonflies, Life Cycle Sheet and anatomy
Common Insects & Caterpillars
Frogs, Life Cycle Sheet and Anatomy
Salamanders, Life Cycle and Anatomy
Tree, Shrub and Leaf Identification, sheet about Deciduous and Coniferous Trees
Perennial Plants in our Gardens , Common Annuals
Info Sheet "What are Annual & Perennial Plants"
Moss & Lichen Identification and Definitions
Guide to common backyard Grasses and Weeds
Our Herbs and Vegetable Plants
Common Road Side Wild Flowers to look out for on our travels
Common Ontario Fish Guide
Common Ontario Squirrels and Rodents
Animal Tracks Guide

The kids both have nature journals.  Ava is using hers to draw, and Xander has started drawing our backyard birds in his. 

Putting it all together...

I laid out all of our sheets in the order that made sense to me.  I used basic plastic (easy to wipe clean) report covers and plastic dividers.  I did think about laminating the sheets and still may, but figured that I can print a new sheet if one gets damaged.

Book Covers...

A selection of some of our favourite nature study books.

The books above are all from our collection. Some of these books are very old, but can still be found on  Here is a list of what you see above. 

This is an updated version of our Pond & River
Updated version, but you may still find the one pictured above.
Janice VanCleave's Ecology for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun

 The Discover insects and small critters cards are amazing.  I bought mine from Target in the dollar section.  Though they do sell them on amazon for much more I will include this link anyway for you to check them out but they are expensive!!
Insects and Other Small Critters - Flashcards

Dandelions: Stars in the Grass

The above are amazon affilate links.

We are so happy to finally see and feel spring, after a very long and cold winter!!

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I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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