This is the way children learn, using all of their senses while exploring their world. Check out these online resources (e-books and videos) focused on exploring nature with kids! For hands on fun, try this simple nature scavenger hunt.
What You Need:
- A safe place to explore outside. (NOTE: Please follow safe distancing and health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID 19)
- A container to hold your findings. We are using an empty egg carton with images you can print out and glue onto the egg carton. (If you don’t have a printer, you can make your own).
What You’ll Do:
Explore! Find small items that will fit into your container such as rocks, leaves, flowers, pine cones, ferns, pine needles, soil, twigs, grass, bark, seeds, and clovers.
Take your items home and investigate what you have found. Have a conversation with your child about what they found and ask them open ended questions such as, “What does the rock feel like?”, “How does it smell?”, “What sound does it make?”, and “What does it look like?”. They may not have an answer right away- give them time to explore and respond.
Other ideas after the Scavenger Hunt:
-Glue your items onto paper and make a collage or nature scene.
-Make leaf rubbings by placing a piece of white paper over the leaf and rubbing the leaf with a crayon.
-Did you find any seeds on your scavenger hunt? If you did, plant them and see what grows!
Can’t go outside? You can connect with nature from any window in your house!
Even if you don’t know the names of birds, you can easily find them right outside your window. The Portland Audubon Society has a “Kids Guide to Oregon Birds” to help you identify what you see! Make a simple bird feeder by spreading peanut butter on a pinecone or a piece of cardboard and then covering it with birdseed. Hang the feeder and watch the birds come eat!
“I Spy with my little eye something…..brown, what do you think that is?” Even the youngest of children can play I Spy (with easier and more hints) and it really gets children to notice what is right outside their window!
There is nothing like watching the clouds pass and morph into different creatures and since children have fantastic imaginations, you never know what they are going to see! For more info and examples of local clouds visit Koin 6 Weather Kids.