With our camera, Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study, and a whole lot of curiosity we set out seeking for our “one thing”. The “one thing” can be anything your child discovers along the trail. He sees it and he is excited about it. You have yourself an easy nature activity for kids.
“Mom, I got it!” My four year old yells as he gently picks up a fern from an old rotting log.
“Look, Mom, it is symmetrical,” he shares his observations with me.
Yes, symmetry is something we discussed last week on a nature hike.
This activity is organic, simple, yet powerful.
Easy Nature Activity for Kids
- Going outside
- Discovering a natural item
- Studying it concretely and making observations
- Researching the item a bit more in books or on the internet
- Camera (optional)
- Journal and pencil (optional)
- Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study
How the Activity Works
My son chose a fern. We took a close look at the shape of the plant, the positioning of the leaves (which look like an eagle's wing soaring), and the shape of the leaves. We also noticed that this fern was not the only one in our woods. There were several other types of ferns to compare and contrast. Then we settled down to read a bit about this fern in Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. We learned everything from the name to the habitat to the history of this sweet fern discovered by my son earlier that day. We looked up the fern based on the images in the book. We were able to identify there fern on this way.
Extensions to a “One Thing” activity might include:
- Draw the natural item
- Integrate it into art work (we could create resist paintings with chalk or paint with this fern, for example)
- Simple research report on the plant
- Write a story about the natural object's life and history
- Parts of the Plant book with labeling, tracing, and coloring
- Study the family of plants
Pretty simple, huh? Puts a bit of framework around an activity that is actually quite organic to most children! Enjoy and please share your “Just One Thing” experiences!
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