For children of all ages, playing is learning. And there’s no better source than nature and the outdoors. As temperatures remain high in Arizona, explore these ideas on how to bring the outdoors inside the classroom:
1. Make a natural sensory bin. This is great to have in the classroom because it will activate their senses of smell, touch, hearing and sight.
- First, fill a bin with rice.
- Then, place citrus rinds from an orange or lemon tree, pinecones, some smooth rocks and cinnamon sticks in the bin.
- Finally, explain where these items came from and let the kids dig around and play!
2. Explore what nature objects absorb water. This will give the kids an opportunity to learn a little bit about science and their outdoor environment.
- Head outside with your class to collect objects, such as sticks, grass, flowers and leaves. Place each object in the different compartments of a muffin tin pan.
- Once you’re back in the classroom, have them explain what each object is and where they got it.
- Lastly, let your students pour water over each object to see what absorbs water and what doesn’t. The kids will be so excited to see what happens.
3. Teach your youngsters responsibility and patience by creating your own garden!
- Give each child some seeds, a pot and dirt so they can grow their very own plant.
- Find a space near the windows in your classroom where the plants can grow.
- Explain how they need to take care of their plant throughout the year by watering it and making sure it gets enough sunlight.
- Wait and watch how the plants grow over time.