Tag Archive | nature walks

Spring Activities for School

I am starting to get the Spring Itch as I see the first signs of the season appearing. My neighbor’s crocuses are blooming and the birds have begun migrating back to their summer homes.  Are you and your children getting itchy too? How about taking advantage of the warmer days to do the following activities. I have written school subjects in parentheses.

Take a nature walk Have your children take a picture on your phone of signs of spring. They can create a photo montage when they return home or draw pictures in a sketchbook. So many subjects can be covered by this simple activity. (Science- researching, labeling plants and animals; Handwriting; Fine Arts, and Physical Education.)

Feed the birds Even if you aren’t interested in feeding the birds throughout the year, a small bag of bird seed will bring the birds and squirrels to your home.  Your budding biologist can see if they can match the male and female species of birds. Cardinals are the easiest to ID since there are obvious differentiations of color. iBird and Merlin are apps that I use to help me identify unfamiliar birds. They are both FREE and are excellent resources. (Science- Your child can draw a picture of their favorite bird to be placed on your refrigerator:), in their room, or in a science notebook. Language Arts- A short report on a specific bird or squirrels can be assigned. Science- Observing and studying wildlife cover this academic area. Fine Arts- sketching, coloring the animals that come to the feeder)

Outdoor Play– As my mom used to say, “Go blow the stink off of you!” Have your children play a game of tag, play Hopscotch, play on the playset, run around the yard, ride bikes, or play jump rope. These activities all help with the physical well-being of your child and will aid them in sleeping. (Physical Education, Health, Safety- bike and playing safely on playsets)

Cloud Watching– Spring has some of the best varieties of clouds. If you have a day where there are puffy, billowy clouds either go outside or watch from a window. What can you learn about clouds? They are a good indication of the weather that is likely to come. You can use a poster like this for reference. (Science- observation, weather)  If you are interested in purchasing, click on the picture.

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You can also go to the Ducksters website to learn about clouds and have your meteorologist take a 10 question quiz after reading the material. (Win! Win! You can print off the quiz and use for documentation for school.)

Here are some nonfiction books for your children to investigate. (All parent approved)

 

If you have yet to be introduced to the Let’s Read and Find Out science series, you are in for a treat! These books are packed with interesting scientific information that is on an elementary level.

Clouds

Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roll

What Will the Weather Be?

Down Comes the Rain

Weather Words and What they Mean Gail Gibbons’s books are highly informative and have been a perennial favorite of mine for helping students understand science concepts.

A Drop Around the World is a  book about the water cycle that follows a drop of rain around the world.

 

Nature Scavenger Hunt

For some reason I am partial to nature walks and scavenger hunts. So, I saw this idea on Pinterest from the Creative Homemaker and created my own to share with you. Basically, you do the following to create a  fun, educational activity: download the Nature Scavenger Hunt, glue or tape it to a grocery bag, attach a pencil, and download the  optional checklist.  Next, go find a green space, nature trail or park to explore. Last, but certainly not least, have fun!

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There are two sheets to download: one for your bag as pictured above and the other as a master checklist. I have included some scavenger items for your daughter just to take a picture since you do not want to be tromping through the woods tearing up plants and carting off things that belong in nature.

 

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This can be made into a competition to see who can collect the most items, giving one point for each item found. You can also award extra points for the biggest leaf and/or the smallest leaf. In addition to “competition collecting’, you can also play Nature Bingo and just go after certain items if you are short on time. If your son is inclined to just rush to get something done, then you keep the bag and call out one or two items from the checklist that you are looking for to prolong the game. Here are the documents to download: Nature Scavenger Hunt pictures  and Nature Scavenger Hunt Checklist