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I love science and I love “teaching” science. Botany was our summer study but I’m just finally getting around to talking about it. We had a blast with our botany science unit for homeschool. Just to recap – my crew is currently 12, 10 and 8. With a lot of hands on learning, field trips, games and more, we had a blast and I can’t wait to share some of favorite books, games, etc.. I have kids who want to play in the dirt all of the time and my ten-year-old son loves gardening, so this was totally up their alley. Overall, we just prefer to be outside so this is something we are all on board with.
Board games. There are plenty of botany games, but we opted for a few. One came with our science unit. The others we played a bunch were Arboretum, Wildcraft and The Whatnot Cabinet. I always search for one or two games to go along with whatever we are learning about so be sure to leave a comment with some of your favorites!
Let’s talk field trips! Our first field trip was to the local flower market. So many flowers and we walked through talking about the ones we liked, what made them different, some we knew, some we didn’t. We asked the very knowledgeable people working about some of the ones we were especially interested in. We took pictures of a bunch to print out and look at later on or learn more about. The other field trip was to the local conservatory to see the plants there. The really fun thing about this unit is that everywhere is a field trip – there’s plants, dirt, trees, etc. everywhere we turn.
Apps. So, I’m not real digital with our school, but some things are worth it. We carried our nature journals around with us and would scan things we found using the iSeek app. There are a few others out there that do similar things, but we love this app. If you need a way to discover some new plants, trees, etc. go hiking. Go hiking with friends, with just the kids, anybody! Don’t take the hike seriously. Get down in the dirt, look at the insects or plants the kids discover. Take pictures and learn more about it later or scan it in the app and discover it now. We like to hike to waterfalls. The kids know they will have a blast when we get there and we stop to discover whatever we want along the way.
Books. This is always my favorite. I love that our library is so big and has so many books. Here are some of my favorites but to be honest, I could probably go on and on and on with this list there are so many we loved!
It Starts with a Seed by Laura Knowles
Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch
The Seedling That Didn’t Want to Grow by Britt Techentrup
Flip, Float and Fly by Joann Early Macken is hands down one of my favorite books. The illustrations and information in this book is incredible and so beautiful.
A Seed Is Sleepy by Diana Aston
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
The Amazing Life Cycle of Plants by Kay Farnham
Plant Hunters from The Good and the Beautiful is about 2 female botanists. I really love having a book or two about people working in the field that have had an impact on what we are learning about.
Flower press. You can buy a set for this purpose or there are ways to do it on Pinterest.
We also had a root viewer so we could observe the roots as they were growing. Somehow I didn’t take a single picture of ours? It was fun to watch. We did this at the same time we were planting our garden which made it extra fun. The kids planned the garden;from what we grow to where we planted the things and kept track of it all as it grew.
We had a blast with this unit and if you are wondering what’s next – it’s chemistry! Actually, we did insects this summer too – maybe I’ll get around to sharing that one also. Drop a comment below – I’d love to hear what you have added in for extra fun!