Preschool Prep Week 11: Nature

Now that it's not blistering hot I want to take the girls out and let them explore nature while it's still summer. This is a great unit to do any time of the year, but I want to combine a few elements that the girls have been learning about: insects, plants, weather, and summer. Teaching them how all of these topics come together in Nature is the idea. I'm excited to see what they recognize while we are out and about.

Leaf rubbings. I don't have any new techniques for this one. Just good ol' fashioned rubbings. source
Using painters tape and rolling out large paper is a great way to do this activity with multiple children.
Create a new piece of Art

spray pant silhouette leave

This might have to happen in my kitchen.
Nature scavenger hunt This style is great if your children aren't reading yet. Collect the items and put them in the carton. source

This style is nice if they like to color. You could use clip boards with crayons and binoculars. source

 If they can read...

A bag, and a list. source. This would be a nice way to include sounds. (A bird tweeting, a cricket chirping, a dog barking) You could really get them paying attention to detail this way. 

1.       Make a tent (fort) out of blankets and the backs of chairs.

1.       Felt Fishing. Using the stick and the magnet fish for the felt fish on the ground. 

Edible plants. I've been wanting a book like this for a long time. I want to teach the kids about plants that are safe to eat. If they are very young, you might want to skip this. Another option is taking them to a u-pick farm or an orchard, something along those lines. For older kids take them out in nature and actually teach them that there are wild plants around us that are safe to eat. If you're doing the activity in the spring take them to a maple tree park, and see how they collect Maple Syrup, for example.

Animal/human tracks. With the brown play dough find items around the classroom/home that have plastic feet and would make a footprint in the “mud”. How big are the prints? How can you tell them apart from other animals? If you’re adventurous you could have the student put their own foot in the play dough to see what his/her tracks look like. 

I thought going on a hike would be nice. Check out the Metro parks in you area.  

We’re going on a bear hunt. Pretend you are actually on the hunt. As you say each verse act out with your body the movements. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt:
We're going on a bear hunt. (Repeat) We're going on a bear hunt.
Gonna catch a big one. (Repeat) Gonna catch a big one.
We're not scared. (Repeat) We're not scared.
It's a beautiful day. (Repeat) It's a beautiful day.
Verse 1:
Oh look, grass! Swishy-wishy grass.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Swish swish, swish swish,
Swish swish, swish swish
(Repeat chorus)
Verse 2:
Oh look, a river! A cold dark river.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Splish splash, splish splash.
Splish splash, splish splash.
(Repeat chorus)
Verse 3:
Oh look, mud! Icky-gicky mud.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Ploo ploo, ploo ploo
ploo ploo, ploo ploo.
(Repeat chorus)
Verse 4:
Oh look, a forest! A tall, tall forest.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Stumble trip, stumble trip.
Stumble trip, stumble trip.
(Repeat chorus)
Verse 5:
Oh look, a snow storm! A cold cold snow storm.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Burrrrr, burrrrrrrr,
Burrrrr, burrrrrrrr.
(Repeat chorus)
Verse 6:
Oh look, a cave! A tiny little cave.
We can't go over it, we can't go under it.
Ohhh NO!
We gotta go through it.
Tip toe, tip toe
Tip toe, tip toe
Oh, what’s that?
Two big fuzzy ears
Two big googly eyes
One big mouth...
Quick, back through the cave
Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe, tip toe
Back through the snow storm
Burrr, burrr, burrr, burrr
Back through the forest
Stumble trip, stumble trip, stumble trip, stumble trip
Back through the icky mud
Plooo, plooo, plooo, plooo
Back through the river
Splish splash, splish splash, splish splash, splish splash
Back through the swishy grass.
Swish swish, swish swish, swish swish, swish swish
Run to the front door... (tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap)
Open up the front door, argh!
Run inside!
We forgot to shut the door.
Back to the door!
Shut the door, plllunk!
Lock it, clink
Back inside.
Run up the stairs,
Another flight of stairs, another flight of stairs
(Breathe heavy)
Another flight of stars
Jump in the bed
Pull up the covers
WHOOO, we made it!

Paint the letter M to look like a mountain.  Included gray paint for the mountain, blue for a river, and sky and green for pine trees. As an added bonus you could get pine needles or evergreen leaves to paint the trees. 

Going on a hike/camping trip. What equipment would you need to bring with you? Name and list all items needed. Now discuss each item and what would happen if you forgot to bring, pack, or wear any of these items. 

Make a first aid kit. An important item to remember to bring with you on a hike, while camping or exploring the great outdoors is a first aid kit. Our kit includes: one Large Rx bottle to hold the contents-we wrapped the outside with the duct tape. band aids-3 sizes, rubber glove, soap, gum, life savers, safety pins, cotton balls, gauze pad, moleskin patch, rubber bands, duct tape, alcohol wipes, for older children you could also include a needle and thread, and have them make their own paracord bracelet. 

Grab a bag of marshmallows. Practice saying the letter M with your mouth. Slowly pronounce marshmallow. How many times do you hear the M sound? Practice a long M sound as if to say something is yummy. Do an experiment. One on one give the child one marshmallow, and promise them that if they don’t eat the marshmallow after 5 minutes, they can have two. Now the teacher leaves the room for 5 minutes. When you come back, see which child was able to wait. Most children cannot, it’s fun to see who does. 

Make trail mix for your snack

Book List: 

 We'Re Going On A Nature Hunt (EBK)     
Other Great books:
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
The Foggy, Foggy Forest by Nick Sharrat
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Tin Forest by Helen Ward
A Tree is Nice by Janies May Udry
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
What the Sea Saw by Stephanie St. Pierre
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers
The Frog and Toad Collection by Arnold Lobel
The Complete Tales of Blackberry Farm by Jane Pilgrim
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
 Outside your Window: A first book of nature by Nicola Davies
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson
Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame


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