Whether your child takes a walk, visits a park, or plays in the backyard, the outdoors is full of learning opportunities. As we get into spring and soon summer, you may want to try some of these ideas when you get out and about in nature.
Help your child learn about habitat by suggesting that when you go into the woods or nature preserve, your child take a small notebook and pencil to draw animals and insects he sees. Or encourage him to look in ponds, under rocks, and in trees to see if he can locate some type of fish, algae, or bird. Have him take notes on what he finds fascinating or new.
Another interesting project is the making of maps or cartography. Your child can practice geography by making a 3-D map. First, have him choose an outdoor area to map. Then use a marker to draw the outline of the area somewhat to scale. Then, draw elevation circles to show the change in ground level for every 10 ft increase in elevation. Finally, draw lightly trees, grasses, and other objects on the map.
Finally, you can have fun writing words on a sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. You might think of words and ask him to spell it and give a definition. Or you might try drawing a grid of 16 squares and write a letter in each making sure to include vowels. Then take turns looking for a word by connecting letters vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. You might even try word searches from online. The key is to practice vocabulary words for fun.
Summer is a time of adventure. Enjoy it, but when possible remember to practice some skills that will translate to school.