Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Science In The Great Outdoors!

Have you ever notice how a child lights up when they get outside? When I was a child, going outside was the highlight of the day. What wondrous things out there in the great big world to explore and observe! Speaking of observing... a big part of being a scientist (adult or child-sized) is acquiring observation skills. Observation is a skill because it takes time to learn and to do it well. This means that your child will need plenty of practice going out and observing the world that she lives in. While your child is observing, they may ask you some questions. This is a distinct opportunity to encourage problem-solving and thinking skills. Give your preschooler an opportunity to tell you what she thinks is happening. In general, find out what their answer would be to their own question. After you have an idea of how she processes then you can praise her efforts and provide her with additional information if necessary. The following is an activity that preschoolers enjoy and it will yield their very own nature book after all of their explorations. It's a win-win activity! Rub-it Book Activity What you will need: ~Several thin sheets of paper ~Several crayons ~Flat items found on a nature walk ~Several Ziploc bags ~Hole Punch ~Yarn Directions: 1. The best and first part of this activity is taking your preschooler out for a nature walk. Ask your preschooler to find leaves, flowers, bark, and twigs to collect. Once your preschooler has had a blast finding all sorts of cool things, tell her that she gets to keep her treasures to take home. 2. Once home, have your preschool take out a sheet of thin paper and place it over the first item. 3. Next, use the side of a crayon to rub across the paper and the image of the item will appear. Trust me when I say, your preschooler will be delighted by the effect and eager to continue with the remaining items. 4. After your preschooler has completed her rubbings of all the items, place each item along with it's rubbing in a Ziploc bag. 5. Punch holes in the bags and tie them together with the yarn. Wallah...Preschooler made nature book! Discuss the texture, color, and uniqueness of each item often with your preschooler. Who knows, it may just become her favorite book!

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