One question I receive quite often about the NaturExplorers series is whether or not they are appropriate for the younger crowd of five and under. While 1st through 8th grades are the target audience, we didn’t leave out the little ones! (Or the bigger ones for that matter.)
In each curriculum guide, there’s a section written specifically for little ones with ideas for sensory skills, motor skills, broadening vocabulary skills and several hands-on explorations. There are also fun crafts, cooking and dramatic play ideas for little hands.
At the same time, most of the outdoor activities in the main section of the curriculum can be used with young children, too!
Here are a few examples of how my two-year-old son has tagged along during our recent nature studies. And maybe I shouldn’t even use the words “tagged along” because he was learning just as much as us on his own level!
Nature Study with a Toddler
He’s probably more serious about finding things in nature than his big brother and sister! His short stature helps him see things we might miss, too.
Nature study is often more active than not for little people. In fact, throwing nuts, climbing trees, and using sticks for fun help him learn about the world around him.
I allow him touch most things for full sensory learning. All the while, I use very descriptive words to increase his vocabulary and understanding.
I never force nature on him, I let him make his own discoveries – and they’re are often better than mine!
I always let him take part in what the big kids are doing if he wants.
God reveals Himself through nature to our little ones as well as us! Don’t leave little guys and gals out!
Preschool Nature Study
If you’re interested in some gentle nature-based learning for your preschooler or kindergartener, check out the Nature By the Season series of curriculum. It leaves plenty of room for inquisitive, play-based learning, while teaching science in just the right doses for little one.
Other preschool posts you might enjoy: