Send-Home Activities: Helping Children Explore and Protect Our Planet
- Grades: PreK–K
Explain to parents that this year your group will be studying "How to Explore and Protect Our Planet." Inform them that you'll be reading books, as well as taking walks and field trips to explore the natural world, and doing lots of projects to learn about conservation and ecology. Then suggest that parents extend the learning at home with the following activities.
Foster recycling. Save paper scraps; recycle cans, bottles, and newspapers; turn off lights where they are not needed; and explain to your child the reasons for these actions.
Try to find ways to reuse plastic and cardboard food packaging. Do simple art projects with the materials and use some of the plastic containers for storing household items. Always make your child aware of why you are recycling.
Take walks in your neighborhood. Urban, suburban, or rural-to observe the plants and animals. Talk about what is needed to keep the plants and animals healthy.
Listen for bird and animal calls. Learn to identify the sounds made by different creatures.
Take a trip to the library. Find books about weather, space, or other topics about the natural world that are of interest to you and your child. Read and discuss the books together. Encourage your child to ask questions and express ideas.
Build a bird feeder. Learn about the type of foods your local birds eat.
Watch for seasonal changes in the bird population.
Collect sea shells if you live near a beach. Learn about the creatures that inhabit them and talk about the importance of clean water for their survival.
Take a walk to look for animal tracks if you live in an area where it snows. Find out what animals do to survive in cold climates.
Grow things! Plants in city apartments, gardens in the backyard or a container, flowers in boxes, leaves in water-it doesn't matter what you grow. Every experience will teach your child valuable lessons about the importance of light, clean water, and nutrient-rich soil for growing plants.
- My Light by Molly Bang
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- Galaxies, Galaxies by Gail Gibbons
- Owls by Gail Gibbons
- W Is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet Edition by Pat Michaels
- Kids' Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats: For Small Spaces in City-Suburbs-Countryside by Emily Stetson
- The Take a Walk Series: Take a Backyard Bird Walk, Take a Tree Walk, Take a Walk With Butterflies and Dragonflies, and Take a City Nature Walk by Jane Kirkland
- How Animals Shed Their Skin by Betty Tatham
- Baby Sea Otter by Betty Tatham