EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN
I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our exploring nature curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explore nature during the Fall! Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.
SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME
- Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors (HINT: If you click on this link, make sure you click “Preview” to check out the preschool curriculum!
- The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land
First, we gathered seeds from the yard. Then, we read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. My oldest son LOVES art! He used watercolors to paint in the flower I drew from the story. We use these watercolors almost daily and LOVE them! They have lasted a long time, and the boys really enjoy using them.
MAKING SEED BOMBS
We created seed bombs at home and with our sweet preschool co-op group. I found an easy tutorial on Pinterest on how to make the seed bombs. We used seed packets, water, potting soil, and air-dry clay.
This activity was so simple. We love to get our hands dirty. I can’t wait for Spring to see the flowers pop up!
COLLECTING NATURE TREASURES
Next, we discussed seed dispersal and used leftover egg cartons to house our nature treasures. My boys use the egg cartons frequently now to store their findings!
We also read A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Aston. The books in this series are all absolutely stunning because they provide beautiful imagery. The boys had fun using a magnifying glass for the first time to observe their treasures up close!
Finally, we read through From Seed to Plant. Although this was an informative book, my boys were not attentive to this book. Perhaps as they get a little older, they will be more interested in it!
Since it was Fall, we also explored apples. My boys practiced kitchen skills by slicing the apples, and removing and counting the seeds. Then, we painted an apple template using the sliced apple and tempera paints.
We read through the following books and these were all EXCELLENT:
I think our favorite book was the Apple Tree’s Discovery because it has such a neat story!
Since I’m a lover of sweets, we then made this simple vegan apple crisp recipe. This recipe is simple, pretty clean, and my family loves it, so we have made it several times!
I just love to see the attention to detail my older son has when he is painting!
Next, we explored and learned about honey bees. This was a fun lesson! I highly recommend Are You a Bee? I also highly recommend making homemade beeswax candles! To this day, my boys still get excited to light a candle that they helped create!
Of course, since my boys seem to love being creative with art, they colored in the honey bees I drew from them in their nature journals. We also made a bee card from cardstock, used our Nature Anatomy book to draw a bee, and read the Honeybee Man many times throughout the week!
In October, we visited Johnson’s Backyard Gardens for an open house event. When we first arrived, we took a tractor tour of the farm! Next, we completed a nature scavenger hunt searching for leaves, spider webs, birds, mini beasts and signs of bugs.
They were pretty excited to ride the tractor trailer!
We had a pretty view of the farm from the tractor ride.
I try to begin and end the month reading a short and sweet poem from a beautiful book called Be Blest. I highly recommend this book. It is very inexpensive too! This is something extra I have tried to add to our exploring nature curriculum study.
First, we used Nature Anatomy to study leaf characteristics. This book has been such a huge resource to us, I highly recommend you check it out! We collected as many leaves as we could (there is not much variety on our property which mostly consists of cedar and oak trees). My boys had fun painting the leaves and making art with them.
We tried to identify leaves based on their shapes.
We read through many stories, and really enjoyed We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt. We have also read his other cute story We’re going on a Bear Hunt and it is one of my three year old son’s favorite books.
Perhaps our favorite Fall study was exploring Pumpkins! Since it is so useful, we used our Nature Anatomy book again to draw and paint pumpkins and squash. We read through Pumpkin Town more times than I can count over the week.
Next, my children painted mini pumpkins. Then, we made clean pumpkin energy balls with just a few ingredients. Prior to making the balls, we carved a pumpkin together, explored the seeds and pulp, and cooked the pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin puree, which was used to make the pumpkin energy balls.
To gain more great healthy recipes, such as the Pumpkin energy balls, join my Nourished Health Challenge groups! I would love for you to join my community of healthy, wellness minded mamas in focusing our our health! It is so nice when your kiddos start an activity organically, which is exactly what happened with the mini pumpkin painting!
Here are my children scooping out the seeds! Its a messy job, but so fun!
Here they are painting pumpkins at a sweet co-op activity.
Finally, we also watched Too Many Pumpkins on a You Tube read aloud since my library didn’t carry it!
We finished our Fall studies with Tree exploring. Nature Anatomy once again was a great resource and we also used our Smokey the Bear tree poster to identify some trees.
For this study, we next collected seeds and leaves from the yard.
Then, we read the Giving Tree and attempted to make some leaf rubbings using crayons and cardstock.
I hope this helps inspire you with some Fall related Preschool activities! I sure love this precious time spent at home with my kiddos. Finally, here is our Before and After homeschool space.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
I’m also super passionate about health and wellness. Please read all about that here!
Finally, you can check out 20 Nature Field Trip Ideas here.