Last weekend, the family went out for a long, long walk along the Leslie Street Spit in Toronto. This fabulous conservation area is also known as Tommy Thompson Park.
Aside from the camera in my phone, we decided not to bring any other recording media with us on our adventures. We thought it would make our trip more free-flowing and surprising – and it did. We did, however, want the kids to have a sense of what we “might” see before we got there. So, we made a little journal prompt for the kids to look at before we hit the trails and to insert into their journals when we returned home.
[Feel free to save the image above for your own adventures or take advantage of out this pdf version: Young Explorer’s Notebook Prompts.]
Originally, I thought our primary focus would be bird watching [and we certainly did plenty of that], but as it turned out, the kids were most interested in finding mammals and exploring the drastic shifts in climate within the park. Very close to the park’s entrance, along a pile of discarded cement blocks on the edge of Lake Ontario, we spotted what we thought was a beaver. And, scuttling alongside of it, a wet mink! Later, at the Bird Research Station, we witnessed the release of several warblers who had been taken inside for a brief study. Near the outside of the station, we also saw a preying mantis, a snake, and a giant moth! Then, we trekked through all sorts of microclimates, including meadows, wetlands, and forest. And from the red red bridge, we saw, in the distance, the leafless birches in which the famous TTP cormorants roosted by the dozens.
Since I’ve been teaching Bea how to create slideshows and movies for one of her school projects, we decided that instead of posting static images here, we’d try to make a quick iMovie of our trip from the pics I had snapped on my phone. Here’s what we came up with:
Tommy Thompson park is located at the foot of Leslie Street, south of Lakeshore Boulevard East in the great city of Toronto [Ontario, Canada].
The park is open weekends and most holidays from 9am – 6pm or 9am – 4:30pm depending upon the season.
Visit their website for all the details.