Tag Archives: nature

Q&A about natural spaces for children

It was a perfect early summer day with temperatures in the low 70s (F) and a gentle breeze that make it easy to be outdoors for hours. We had a combination of shade, sunscreen or hats to protect from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and a pitcher of water to drink when thirsty. And we had […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Whether from Spiderman or Voltaire, the sentiment proves critically important to our approach to science education. As such, we hold great power to encourage, enlighten, and nurture young minds that are inherently curious and full of poignant questions. As good teachers, we are responsible not to be the authority that provides the answers to students, […]

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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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