Outdoor walks are a simple way to set foot in nature's laboratory. Backyards and walks through the neighborhood can provide interesting conversations that contain new vocabulary words. You will also help your child develop important science skills such as observation, prediction and research.
At home, try out these fun outdoor exploration activities to nurture the development of your scientist or mathematician in formation!
Identify and describe the trees, other plants and their parts that you find outside. The vocabulary could include words such as trunks, branches, stems, leaves and flowers. See how many different types of leaves you can pick up. Describe and order the leaves according to their shape, size and color.
Note any bird, squirrel, insect or worm. Track the different animals and insects on the way. If possible, take pictures or sketch any of those that are unusual or unfamiliar to you. Slow-moving ponds and rivers are excellent places for insect hunting. Other places to visit would be a pile of wood, a garden or a spot near the bright lights in a parking lot.
Choose two or three different times of the day, for example, early in the morning, at noon and at dusk. Take a short walk and listen in detail to the different sounds. Try to keep a count of the different sounds you hear. Depending on the time of year, you can hear cicadas, crickets, Canadian geese or bird trills. Talk about why different animals and insects might be heard depending on the time of day or season.
Tips for parents on how to encourage the growth of solid readers and writers These illustrated books are a good companion for outdoor explorations - and better if you read them together to encourage conversation!
The Listening Walk By Paul Showers
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