As with most kids, our children love nature. Being outside is cheap and easy entertainment and one we utilize every singe day. Once we move to New York, I'm not sure how that's going to play out in the winter, but until then we'll keep enjoying the Alabama sunshine! While living in Arizona, we had a lush (for Arizona standards) yard filled with a variety of plants and trees. I save our egg cartons for a multitude of projects and decided it would be a perfect container to go on a nature hunt and learn about all the flowers, trees, and foliage in our yard. I asked Addie to collect a sample from each type of plant or tree in our yard. If you don't have a dozen types in your yard, take a walk in your neighborhood or at a park to fill the carton.
After we collected our samples, we used Google to identify the flowers and leaves and I wrote the name by each item. Addie was two at the time so this was a fun way to practice color recognition. Recently, I downloaded an app called LikeThat Garden, which would have made the process much easier! All you do is take a picture of the flower and it returns items that match. We used it in our yard this week and were able to identify our flowers in seconds--a fantastic tool.
After we labeled all the specimens, I used our painted chalk table to have Adeline separate the flowers from the leaves.
Then, I decided to use the leaves and flowers to create an art project. I drew an outline of a flower and had her glue her findings on the appropriate parts.
Now that Addie is three, I could take this project further with letter recognition and sounds, tracing, basic mathematics and the like. I enjoyed this project as much as my then two year old did and it's one I look forward to doing again with Lincoln and at a more advanced level with Addie. If you try these activities, let me know any fun variations you add to the mix!