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Summer: Exploring

Updated: Sep 18, 2021



This week is all about being an explorer! I always loved going outside and pretending to explore a new land, looking for bugs, animal footprints, or making a fort out of giant rocks and tree limbs. The outside world has so much to see and do, and with a child's imagination the exploration is limitless! Let's jump into what this week has to offer:


Suggested Book List-Try to find these at your local library!


Activities


Magical Nature Wand- Sprouts (ages 2-5) Create a magic wand from fun objects your child finds while exploring!


Materials

  • Wooden paint stir stick (preferred) or any smooth stick free of bark

  • Double-sided stick paint or strong glue

  • Small natural objects

Prep

  1. Apply double-sided sticky tape to both sides of stick, leaving room at the end for a handle.

Steps

  1. Invite your child to go on a nature walk in your backyard, local park, or nature trail in search of small natural objects to stick on the wand. Your child can pretend that the object gives the wand its magical powers!

  2. Once your child has collected the objects, have him/her cover the stick in the objects.

  3. Encourage magical pretend play with the new sticky wand, such as pretending the wand helps him/her talk to animals, turns her/him into a fairy, or gives them magical powers to save animals in danger!

  4. CAUTION: Monitor your child closely as the material can be a choking hazard. Review the rules for stick safety, such as: "The Wand is only magical with slow movements," "wands are never for tapping or poking people," "always walk when holding the wand," or "running makes it lose its magic."

(Bonning-Gould et al., 2019)

 

Nature Mobile -Blossoms (ages 5-9): Create a display of cool nature items you find while exploring.


Materials

  • long stick

  • Twine or string

  • Nature items (feathers, acorns, bones, nests, seeds, pinecones, etc.)

Steps

  1. Take a nature walk and look for nature items that are new to you or exciting you, as well as a longer stick. Try to find 4 to 5 items that can be tied and suspended with string.

  2. Tie string to the end of each item, leaving some extra string to have it hang down.

  3. Tie your items to the long stick, making sure to space them out evenly so it doesn't sag on one side more than another.

  4. Cut a longer piece of string and tie the ends of the string to the ends of the sticks to create a hanger.

  5. Display your mobile in a special spot!



(Andrews et al., 2019)

 

Outdoor Adventure Bucket List


***PLEASE REMEMBER to modify these for your child's age and always do with adult supervision and permission!***

  • Take Flower Photos- You don't need a fancy camera to take good flower pictures! With a parent's supervision and permission, find some beautiful flowers and take some pictures. Try different angles and distances to get the best shots!

  • Play in the mud- Did you know that pigs use mud to stay cool? You can, too! If there is no rain in the forecast, grab a hose and spray down a pile of dirt to create some mud. Then, let your imagination go wild! When you're done, hose yourself off for a quick cleaning.

  • Go Butterfly Watching: You can find butterflies on a nice summer day flitting from flower to flower collecting nectar. Take some time to watch them dance in the sky and even illustrate the butterflies you see. You could even try to identify the butterflies using this handy guide. For an added challenge, grab a soft butterfly net and catch one to observe it closely for a few moments. Please be gentle when doing this! Butterflies are very fragile and you want them to be in good shape when you release them to fly away.

(Tornio et al., 2013)

 

Sources


Andrews, K., & Dockrill, K. (2019). In Exploring nature activity book for kids: 50 creative projects to spark curiosity in the outdoors (pp. 16-17). essay, Rockridge Press.


Bonning-Gould, K., & Rosenberg, N. S. (2019). In The outdoor toddler activity book: 100+ fun early learning activities for outside play (p. 72). essay, Rockridge Press.


Tornio, S., Keffer, K., & Riordan, R. (2013). In The kids' outdoor adventure book: 448 great things to do in nature before you grow up (pp. 62, 66-67). essay, Falcon Guides.

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