Nature Study: Picnic!

This week’s Outdoor Challenge was to go on a picnic. We decided to combine that with a nice nature walk, and invited some friends to enjoy it with us! I have a whole bunch of pictures to share today! Thanks again to Barb at Handbook of Nature Study for coming up with these fun nature challenges!

As we were planning our picnic, Kathryn asked me, “What does the word picnic mean?” I told her I didn’t know. So she thought for a moment and said, “Maybe ‘nic’ is the word for food in some other language, and you get to pick what you bring to eat.” That sounds like a very reasonable explanation to me, but I did go look it up. I found that the first appearance of the word in print was back in 1692; it was “pique-nique”, a french word used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine. For a long time, picnic retained the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something. In other words, a picnic is a potluck! That’s not essential information for our nature study, but I enjoy odd, mostly-useless facts.

We had a great time and the weather was beautiful! We met at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, which made for a great little history lesson along with our nature study. Before we started our nature walk, Kathryn found a little caterpillar friend and had to show him to the other girls.

girls with a caterpillar

We walked on a bouncy bridge, and of course I made everybody pose! Kathryn is holding up the caterpillar so he’s in the picture, too; he rode on her hand all the way on our walk to the creek! (Then Kathryn placed him on a tree so she could go wading!)

everybody on the bridge

The kids all ended up in the creek… this was Kathryn’s first time ever wading in a creek, and she LOVED it! (I grew up playing in the creek, catching tadpoles and crawdads, so it’s in her blood!) Here’s that first cold creek water experience:
toes in the creek

All the kids had fun exploring the creek. They would have stayed there all day. Justin fell in, and that looked so fun that Ian “accidentally” fell in, too.

exploring the creek

Finally we dried off all the wet feet and got everybody’s shoes back on. And then we headed back down the trail. Here’s Kathryn and her younger cousin Cullen… Aren’t they CUTE? We love hanging out with our homeschooling friends, but it’s especially neat when our homeschool friends are our cousins, too! We’re SO happy they decided to homeschool!
Cullen and Kathryn

When we returned to our starting spot, we had our picnic! Why does food seem to taste better outdoors? Maybe it’s the fresh air and exercise we had prior to our meal.
picnic lunch

After lunch, the kids ran around and played in the field until it was time to go. Kathryn got in a bit of drawing, too. I love this picture of her! We’ll be going back again soon, maybe even next week!
Kathryn drawing in the field

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