Make friends with three feet of...something...outdoors. Have you ever stepped outdoors and focused on a small area -- say, three feet -- and spent some time just observing and exploring? Give children a magnifying glass, three feet of yarn, a small shovel or rake, and a bucket. Have them place the yarn on the ground in the shape of a circle or any shape of their choosing. Using the tools they brought with them, encourage the children to dig, rake, investigate, wonder and discover...
What’s happening on the surface?
What lives there?
What’s growing there?
What eats it or sleeps in it or plays in it?
What color is it and does it always stay that color?
Does it look different at different times of the day?
What happens when the weather changes or seasons come and go?
Does your adopted spot change?
Whether your outdoor space has grassy areas to enjoy or piles of dirt or plain cement sidewalks, the kinds of questions children can answer (and ask!) are endless. Encourage the development of their sensory and deductive skills. Pick small areas to monitor and explore for a fun and educational long-term project -- and one easily connected with art, science, and literacy components in your curriculum.
Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations: Excellerations™ Super Magnifiers - set of 6 (BIGEYE - $15.99) Wonder Eye Jumbo Magnifiers - set of 3 (EYESEE - $16.99) Jumbo Roving Yarn - 5 lbs (ROVING - $69.99) Small Shovels - set of 24 (SMSHOV24 - $23.99) Shovels and Rakes - set of 8 (SHOVRK8 - $14.99) Small Bucket with Spout, Clear (SMBUCK - $6.49)