Sunday, November 25, 2012

In the Woods for Preschoolers - Part 3

My last, shorter, post on our "In the Woods" theme. I must say it was a bit tougher than I expected to find original ideas for the week. I had to broaden it to include camping, forest animals, star gazing and such. Adrian, as expected, wasn't thrilled by the topic either. It's not like we were talking about trains! LOL I think it would have been slightly different if we would have been living back in NY where wildlife roamed in our backyard. We literally had deers, rabbits, wild turkeys, and even a coyote at one point. I won't even mention the beautiful birds we got to observe. Oh nostalgia...Let's move on to the remaining activities I'd like to share with you all before I book a plane ticket back! LOL...

Missing our NY Backyard Deers this year

Star hunting with a flashlight in a darkened room

Tough to say from just this snapshot but this was actually a hunting activity done in the dark with a flashlight. What a thrill it was. I first wrote down several letters on several stars. Then, I put some tape on the back and taped them on the wall across a room that has black out curtains. When the  time came, I gave Adrian a flashlight and one of the stars. I told him to look for similar stars on the walls and told him exactly how many there were. He proceeded to gather all the stars. He loved it. I think he sometimes even pretended not to find some stars just because he loved shining the flashlight across the walls! :) We did a variant of this by taping the letters on the floor as well as furniture. 

Sizing - Finding the right bed for the right animal

Using our Forest Animals made by Learning Resources and some plastic food storage bins, the activity was to find the best bed for each animal. After all, some animals hibernate and need a bed for quite a while in the long winter nights... This sizing activity was easy peasy for my son but he still liked it.

Forest Animals Talks

I love Learning Resources Jumbo Animals. We have a lot of their sets and if it were up to me, we'd have all of them and believe me, I am working on it! :) I think I possibly like them more than the kids though. It's just that they are so great for little hands, so cute, and realistic looking. I just want to play with them and am a bit puzzled that they are not playing with them more I guess... Anyhow, during school with Adrian this week, I whipped these out because well...they do belong in this unit. We talked about each animal. We checked out what jumped out at us first. The antlers came up fast so we had a talk about them. We examined the animals' tails. We counted the animals' feet. We saw the owl had wings and could thus fly but that no other animal on our table could.  We also saw that the beaver's feet were slightly webbed in the back...Could he be spending a lot of time in the water like the ducks? It may not look like much but simple animals can bring out lots of questions and discussions...

Touch & Feel Backyard Experience - with your Eyes Covered

A backyard activity of touch and feel with a bandana over the eyes. We had one beautiful fall day here this week with nice temperatures and so I couldn't resist going out impromptu with Adrian. I placed a scarf on his eyes and  took him by the hand and made him feel different textures in our backyard. I then asked him what it could be. It was so difficult for him not to lift the scarf and look right after touching. He didn't mind having his eyes covered and walking but touching and not seeing, now, that bothered him! :) We still played a bit but then just enjoyed the fresh air. Textures to touch can be bark, cedar tree, grass, a flower, a fluffy bush, a fence, etc.

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

This was delightful. Probably the last of the season unfortunately but definitely something I will be looking forward to putting together again come Spring. Scavenger hunts are always fun. Prior to preparing it, I looked at what we had in our neighborhood to make sure it would be possible for Adrian to gather all these objects and then we set off with the sheet in a plastic protector and a little bag. I knew  some items would be close to home and knew some would be on our way to a playground about 10minutes from here so it was a little walk with a reward and school into it! :) Adrian felt very proud when he had gathered everything. He would not play at the playground until he had found everything. A copy of this  hunt can be e-mailed to you per request. Ours included a pinecone, a daisy, a blade of grass, an acorn, a leaf, a twig, a rock and red berries.

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