A few weeks ago we packed up our wagon and headed out on a nature walk through the neighborhood. Lucky for us there is a large park near preschool that we can walk to just a few minutes away! With the help of lots of parents we were able to navigate the neighborhood and find some great nature treasures along the way. I packed a brown paper bag for each child with some ideas for the nature hunt stapled to the front of the bag. Inside each bag I also included a marker and a pair of scissors for cutting leaves, cattails, and wildflowers along the way!
D’s mom got a picture of him cutting one of many, many cattails!
Once we got down into the park, there is a beautiful community garden which we stopped to visit. The above picture shows the edge of the community garden. Right next to the garden is also a huge pumpkin patch. We got to stop by and visit the pumpkins too!
Then I showed the kids how to do a leaf rubbing. D’s mom got a picture of me showing the group how to do a leaf rubbing using paper and pastels. Then they went off to work, finding the perfect leaves and rubbing away!
These pictures just fill me with such joy! Parents and kids working together, outside in the beautiful surrounding and weather! I feel so lucky to have such wonderful parents that are involved and excited about the children’s early childhood education experience!
When we got done with our nature walk we came back to the classroom and sorted our findings. We had baskets and baskets of leaves and wildflowers. We also found some corn husks, berries, poke berries, rocks, and bird feathers!
The next day we did our first “sorting” activity as a whole group. I showed the children the Venn Diagram circles and how we were going to organize our nature treasures. We organized our treasures into Big, Medium, and Small sizes.
After our sorting activity, I read “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. You can guess by the cover how this book inspired our next nature and art project!
To follow up on our nature walk, I also set up a nature table in our classroom. There are many items from our walk, along with other nature treasures that children have brought in to share. We have a bowl of hickory nuts, acorns, bark, and of course magnifying glasses so we can study things up close.
I hope you will be on the look out for more nature treasures when you are out and about!