Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Exploring in Nature

After a full day of staying inside and studying, we wanted to do something fun! We opened up our Nature Guide and picked a page at random and then picked a date. We ended up with a hunt for wild mushrooms! We packed into the van and headed off to the nature center in search of some mushrooms.

On my last trip to the science store in town, I picked up these specimen dishes, which were perfect for this up close look into the different types of mushrooms we found! I used the green coasters to add a little color to the background, so the mushrooms were not the same color as the tray! (Coasters from Ikea .49).

Placing mushrooms in a variety of containers, allowed each child to explore on their own time and not have to wait for their turn. This definitely helped the project last longer.

I set up the station on a 'tray' which is really just an old wooden puzzle frame that had lost all it's pieces! We also used large magnifying glasses and tweezers from the Teacher Store. Everything had it's own place where it belonged and this was perfect for the kids to realize that everything had to go back where it came from.

The kids easily played in this Science Station for over an hour. They traded samples, broke off pieces and even looked up information! It was an AWESOME learning experience.

Afterwards, I handed this worksheet and had them fill it out (I helped the youngest one!) and it was AWESOME reading what each child thought of the day we had! Hands On makes such a difference, than just seeing pictures of mushrooms in a book!

What do you like to do out in nature??


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