Fun, Educational Activities That Teach Young Children About Nature
Kindergarten-age children are naturally curious. They often enjoy learning, especially if they are involved throughout the teaching process. Because many young children love to explore, teaching them about nature can be a lot of fun. While you can do things such as take a nature hike or visit an arboretum to help your child learn more about nature, there are also several nature-based projects that you can complete at home.
Monitor a Birdhouse
Monitoring a birdhouse with your little one is a great way to teach your child about birds. You can buy decorative birdhouses online or your can purchase an unfinished wooden birdhouse for your child to paint. Before you hang your birdhouse in a tree, talk to your little one about how the birds get into the birdhouse, why birdhouses are needed, and the type of materials birds use to make their nests. Hang your birdhouse in a tree so that it's easy to access, and use a bit of bird food to attract birds to the nest. Periodically peek inside the birdhouse with your child. If you're lucky, your child will eventually find a bird's nest inside — hopefully a nest that contains eggs. Every time you monitor the birdhouse, talk to your child about different bird-related topics such as how mother birds feed their babies, how birds hatch from eggs, and why birds fly south during the winter.
Build an Ocean in a Jar
You can teach your child about ocean life by building an ocean in a jar.
- Clean your jar thoroughly and let it dry.
- Fill the bottom part of the jar with sand.
- Add water to the jar until it's half full.
- Color the water using drops of blue food coloring.
- Fill the remainder of the jar with vegetable oil.
- Put hot glue along the inside brim of the jar's lid, and put it on the jar.
After the glue is dry, set your jar on its side so your child can watch waves form in your tiny ocean. Teach your child about the way the ocean's sand moves with the waves. You can also let your child shake the bottle to see how it disrupts the sand. (Don't worry. Shaking the bottle won't ruin your little ocean. The sand will settle back in the bottle of the jar after it sits for awhile.)
For a young child, learning about nature can be fun. So take the time to complete nature-related projects with your child as often as possible.