Monday, September 15, 2008

thE AdVenTurE Is iN tHe bAckPacK

I admit..I sometimes come up with projects for my daughter because it also sounds like fun FOR ME! Not that I really need an excuse, but I absolutely love coming up with things for kids, especially projects that involve nature and the imagination. So, I'm always trying out different things on her, hoping to encourage playful activities that are nothing short of adventurous, imaginative and as far away from mind-numbing technology, as possible. The latest has been getting her set up with an adventure backpack. I've been wanting to put one of these together for her for quite a while now, and I think I was more excited about the whole idea of having an adventure backpack than she was. It just sounds exciting, doesn't it?! A backpack loaded up with all the cool things that make outdoor exploring the best possible experience ever. And, if you think they're just for kids, think again. I, of course had to create one for myself.... Mine just has more art supplies in it than bug collecting tools! (I'm past the whole 'grab every insect, frog or worm that I encounter' stage) They're as much fun to make, as they are to use, so whether you're young or old, with children or without, an adventure backpack should be hanging by everyone's door! Nature is very inspiring, creatively speaking and once you tap into all the amazing textures, patterns and colors that are out there, you too will start documenting, collecting and creating. Turn off the cell phone. Shut down the computer. Unplug the video games. Immerse yourself in everything the great outdoors has to offer, because an invigorating creative world awaits you and your family. Everyone will return refreshed, re-energized, relaxed and focused. It's the kind of fun most of us forget to have on a regular basis. Here's a list of ideas to get you packin': Add or subtract supplies to whatever suits you and your exploring style. Personally, I like to be ready for anything.
- lightweight backpack with lots of pockets and compartments
- journal or sketchbook
- favorite writing utensils
- small pair of scissors to trim grass, leaves or flowers
- ruler to measure insects and things
- drawstring bag or trinket box to store found treasures
- something to give you a closer look like a magnifying glass or pair of binoculars
- small garden shovel to dig with
- compact pop up screen house for bug and butterfly observation
- gloves
- flashlight
- butterfly net
- picnic size blanket
- insect repellant and sunscreen
- hand wipes
- visor and sunglasses
- healthy snacks and water bottle
- all-in-one compact pruning tool or swiss army knife
- portable flower press
- small spray bottle filled with water
- digital or disposable camera
- portable screen sifter (take a small, empty wooden picture frame and staple aluminum window screen across the front of the opening.) Fun to have if by a pond or creek.
- identification books to look up birds, plants and insects.

What's in your backpack?!

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