Sunday, May 15, 2011

Preschool: Nature Study

Charlotte Mason calls this "The Outdoor Hour"!
I love to take children out of doors to explore God's creation.

Here's what helps:
  • Binoculars
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Clear containers to put bugs and little creatures for observation
  • Nature notebooks/colored pencils/pens for drawing observations
  • Good coloring books. I like to copy the coloring pages of things we have find (specific flowers, birds, butterflies) so the children can color the pictures appropriately. We include these in the nature notebooks!
The list of supplies could be endless. The important thing is not what you bring, but that you go out of doors and enjoy the world God has given us! Go for a walk in different environments and see what you find. Walk through a field, walk in the woods, sit by a pond (or walk around close to the edge of a pond and watch frogs go crazy jumping into the water!!). Find animal foot prints, learn the different calls the birds make, observe geese with their goslings, learn about the many different kinds of bees. Observe flowers up close and personal. Raise a monarch caterpillar and watch it turn from caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly! Then release it in your flower garden.

The possibilities are endless!

Some fun things the children I watch enjoy:

  • Digging for worms. The little girl I watch (Little Miss- age 5) loves to carry around her worms! She even went swinging and held a worm in her hand the whole time!
  • Weeding. Hey, start young and they can be a big help! I taught Little Miss how to pull the weeds up by the roots so they don't grow back. Now when we go to the park, the boys play on the play ground and she weeds!!
  • We walk through the field by their house many times throughout all 4 seasons and observe the changes that take place!
  • Find deer prints.
  • Catch frogs and toads.
  • Throw rocks in the pond (this is quite a thrill;-) )
  • Draw pictures of what we find.
  • Dissect plants. I know this sounds weird, but it's educational. Open up an acorn and draw what's inside. Cut plants open (a good one is the "Waxy Leaved Thistle" which is poky so be careful!) and draw what you find inside. Draw the weeds and roots. Botany in preschool is fun!
  • When it rains, find the live worms along the road and "rescue" them by putting them back in the dirt.
  • Go for walks in the rain. Put on old clothes and rain boots and jump in the puddles!
What kinds of things do you do with your children out of doors??

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