Monday, 24 September 2012

Autumn Outdoor Expedition

Autumn Outdoor Expedition

The Spark:
Even if your garden is not teaming with trees to climb there are more possibilities for outdoor adventures in your little patch of nearby nature than you might think.  Modern living keeps us indoors for longer than is healthy for mind, body and spirit.  Being able to see the sky and experience the daylight directly, to breathe in fresh air and to smell flowers or damp earth after the rain, and to become aware of the natural world, all help us to reconnect to nature on a primal level.    

Playing in and exploring gardens and green spaces in an unstructured way opens up so many possibilities for positive experiences and increases a child's natural curiosity, encourages observation and fosters compassion for all living things.  

Activity #1-  Autumn Outdoor Expedition

As children play outdoors, they may want to keep a daily or weekly log of plants, insects, or other natural elements that they see or find interesting so as to experience how the change in seasons affect them.  Extended observation is necessary.  There are many ways to keep a log and each child will choose their own appropriate method according to their specimen of choice for observation.  They can use a scrapbook and glue non living specimens into it.  If the specimen of choice is living, they can take photos of them over time.  If you do not want to use technology, then the child may want to keep a sketching scrap book.  Don't forget to add colour.  

Take note of the date, time, the season (obviously) and what they observe.  Their descriptions may become more complex and in depth over time.  What change do they predict over time.  What will happen next?  Do they have any questions for further exploration?  Survey, research and identify the names of plant specimens, trees and living creatures.  Count how many are in an area over time.  Make candid and spontaneous observations and record them.  As they play, what do they observe?  If they observe something they can just shout it out and you can participate in the recording.  Do they have a hunch about something?    

Autumn Woven Frame Daily Specimens Log

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