Tag Archives: nature

Fall changes in trees bring science and art together

The colors of the autumn leaves in my area call out to me for attention and to bring inside in a basket for the kitchen table. Outside I arrange them into patterns pleasing to myself. While making this ephemeral art with natural materials, artists may notice details about the materials that we might otherwise overlook—the [...]

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Summertime science investigations and International Mud Day

Many children investigate the natural world more fully in summer, building their understanding of natural materials and phenomena through small moments and large. Jumping into water Pushing stones           Moving water with tools Finding a small animal           Harvesting an early crop   Climbing a tree   [...]

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On observing animals

Do you remember the book Play With Me, (Viking Press, 1955), written and illustrated by Marie Hall Ets about a child observing wildlife? Including Play With Me, five of her book are Caldecott Honor books. I also love her book, Gilberto and the Wind. In Play With Me, a young child seeks to play with animals [...]

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Nature experiences and empathy—see the March issues of journals for early childhood educators

Both the NSTA journal Science and Children, and the NAEYC journal Young Children, were especially riveting this month, March of 2012. I quickly look through the journals to get a feel for the issue, and then put them in my reading bag or pile, unless I happen to be sitting down to the rare quiet [...]

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Connecting with families over the summer

At the end of the school year I gave each preschool student’s family (about 58 of them) a note and a self-addressed stamped envelope in the hopes that they would write to me to let me know about any explorations their child experiences over the summer. Any exploration—deconstructing chalk on the driveway, blowing bubbles on [...]

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I wanna see some NATURE!

Last weekend, I did volunteer work at a county park nature center. Many people were taking advantage of the beautiful weather: walking the trails, birdwatching, biking, running, and picnicking. When a family came in to the building to see the displays, I said hello and asked if I could help them find something. The little [...]

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Experience being outdoors in nature—how much do we need?

In preschool the lessons about environmental science can be about becoming familiar with and enjoying the environment through outdoor exploration and play, gardening, and fieldtrips, and noticing connections such as, roly-polies and slugs are usually found in cooler damp places and when the grass turns brown. Caring for the environment relates to what is within [...]

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Is “connecting with nature” the same as “science”?

Take a look at The ChildCare Information Exchange’s current “Insta-Poll” (a casual poll of readers) on their views on the Highest Priority Teacher Training Topics. “Connecting children with nature” is fifth in priority today when I looked at the poll, mentioned by 19% of the 263 people who had so far responded and “Science” is 42nd, tied with [...]

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Jean Craighead George

I read Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain at just the right time in my life—young enough to believe that I could live in the woods like Sam and old enough to try some of the living-off-the-land strategies he used (while I still lived comfortably at home). Her writing and illustrations taught me [...]

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Thanks to the children who attended the conference

Thanks go to all the children who made it possible for their parents to attend the NSTA national conference by coming along with them! In addition to being a reminder of why we were there, these children often added to our experience by modeling activities in the presentations. This one even got his hands dirty helping Lisa [...]

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