Posted on 02/27/2020 at 07:49 AM by Blog Experts

Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives. -Thomas Berry

As our temperatures are beginning to warm up now that winter is drawing to a close and spring is just ahead, what sort of plan do you have for those outdoor nature experiences for your children. This is a great time to begin to watch what is happening in nature (new leaves sprouting on trees, flowers and grass beginning to awaken, animals coming out of their winter sleep) and encouraging children to observe these phenomena and sorting out what is happening and how the progression occurs. 

It is also a time to think about what “planting” and “growing” experiences you can provide for your classroom. There are opportunities to engage with “guest speakers” talking to the children about what is occurring in nature as well as engage in growing needs of plants (water, sun, dirt, etc.), planting needs (how, where and what to plant) and ongoing care (what happens during the growing season). Other topics can include what animals support plants (bees, etc.) and how to care for flowers or other garden items. 

The new season brings about a new set of vocabulary and oral language opportunities as well as teaching staff can engage learners in discussions about seeds, growing, fertilization, rooting, etc. All of this can be documented or read about in books about gardening or outdoor experiences AND/OR creating your own “growing”/”nature” books that develop as you explore new and exciting topics with the group. Creating your own books provides a chance for children to go back and review what they have learned and written about, great extended activity for literacy. 

So, get out and enjoy nature. Recent research also tells us that being connected to nature is much better for our physical and mental health as well! So, garden away! 

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