Over the last few weeks as the weather has begun to heat up and the sunshine stays out longer, the gardens in our neighbourhood have sprouted! Beautiful flowers, bushes and plants have appeared everywhere and we cannot help but feel grateful for what nature provides us with!
Beyond the beautiful views, nature holds a classroom full of learning opportunities for children and adults! When a child has the opportunity to explore the great outdoors they are able to gain experiences that would be impossible to teach from a textbook or within a classroom.
Let’s set the scene for a hands on nature experience!
It rained yesterday, the ground is soft and robins can be seen plucking worms from the lawn. This provides an opportunity to talk about the circle of life! In the backyard there is a small mound of dirt off to the side that you have yet to put in the garden. Your child is ready to explore and they wander over to the dirt pile, thrusting their hands in. It is incredibly messy, but it provides the child with a sensory experience as they feel the dirt slip between their fingers. While playing, they come across a worm, they watch how the body moves and they begin to ask questions about how worms live, and for how long, and do they have friends? Great questions! However, you're unsure of the answers, searching the internet is a great way to extend the learning and teach children how to search for the answers to their questions.Then they begin to notice other insects moving around. Quick, get a magnifying glass! They want to see what the ants are doing up close! Another opportunity to teach something new!
This is just a small example of how your outdoor space can also become a classroom! The beauty of this experience is that the child is simply exploring and playing, and doesn’t look at this experience as school work. At Mindful Little Things, this way of learning through play is the basis of all our workshops. Children learn so much by exploring it themselves, by getting messy, by touching it and seeing where their questions will lead them!
Nature is full of opportunities like this one! There are so many activities families can do together outside that are fun, promote a healthy lifestyle and support learning through play.
Get on your bikes and explore parks, ravines and trails. On these bike rides children will be exposed to different plants, animals, trees, or insects. Make it a mindful experience by stopping along the way to take a closer look at the tadpoles or that beautiful bird!
Some other activities you may enjoy in the great outdoors include:
Want to learn more about our philosophy of education and learning through play + exploration?! Visit Mindful Little Things :)