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March 8, 2010

Building a Backyard Explorer Kit

Everything you need to help see, identify and document the plants and creatures in your yard

The Humane Society of the United States

  • You'll be surprised what you can find around the house to help build your explorer kit. Marcus Firmani

Ready, set, explore

Curious to learn more about your backyard? Putting together an explorer's kit is a great first step. Here's what you need to get started:


  • Notepad and pencil (for sketches or journaling)

  • Magnifying glass (to examine leaves, feathers, and other findings)

  • Small shovel or trowel (to uncover interesting things in the soil)

  • Jar with lid (to collect tiny creatures for brief observation)

  • Shallow pan (to spread soil in while looking for tiny inhabitants)

  • Flashlight with red cellophane (red won’t disrupt night vision)

  • Silver, Donald M. One Small Square: Backyard. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. (This is an excellent backyard nature activity book for kids—or for anyone else with a healthy amount of curiosity!)
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