Skills: Children will build problem-solving and visual discrimination skills as they search outdoors to find matching nature items.
- Nature items such as pebbles, moss, twigs
- Large posterboard
- Small lunch bags
In Advance: Collect examples of six nature items from your playground or another outdoor area accessible to children. Include various sizes of each item in your collection. Use a marker to divide the posterboard into six equal sections. Glue a different item in each section.
1 Place the nature items on a table outdoors. Invite children to explore them. Can they name them all? Where do they think the items came from? Encourage children to sort those that are the same. Then compare sizes. Which of the matching items are bigger than the others? Which of the matching items are smaller?
2 Invite children on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Bring along the posterboard, glue, and lunch bags.
3 Once outside, invite children to look at the posterboard and search the surrounding area to find matching items.
4 Ask children to bring their finds back to the posterboard and glue them into the appropriate sections. Encourage them to talk about the items and describe where they found them.
5 Invite children to use the lunch bags to collect additional nature objects that interest them. Bring these collections into your classroom for everyone to explore.
- Check the outdoor area and remove any hazards.
- Discourage children from disturbing living things.
For younger children: Invite children to hunt outdoors for objects that interest them. When they return to the group, have them describe their "treasures" to their classmates.
For older children: Invite children to hunt for objects of matching sizes, weights, colors, and shapes.
Observations: Can children match similar items of different sizes? Are they able to use words that indicate location, such as under or near?
As you walk outdoors, encourage children to carefully examine the texture and feel of objects they find. Later, see if children can find classroom objects with textures similar to those of the objects they discovered on their walk.
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