Location: indoor and outdoor
Materials: materials your children collect outside, a bucket
You may notice your kids come back inside with pockets full of rocks and acorns. It can be frustrating when they spill all over the classroom in the middle of a song circle or nap time. And no matter what, you're probably not going to convince your kids to leave their treasures outside. Instead, invite children to regularly contribute their nature finds to a class collection in the sensory table.
Set up a box or bucket outside and tell children to add the things they find to the box. Explain that by putting them in the box they'll be able to bring them inside for further exploration.
You can decide how to manage the nature collection (when to add it to the sensory bin, when to refresh).
- Add magnifying glasses to the sensory bin to encourage close looking
- Go on nature walks with the express purpose of picking up materials to add to the sensory bin
- Mix in materials you find to create more variety (ex: the kids are collecting a lot of one type of leaf, so you mix in other types of leaves for them to look at)
- Use the natural materials in art projects
What We're Learning
- collaboration and team work
- sorting and classification
- language and communication
- scientific knowledge
- sensory integration