Monday, April 29, 2013

A Nature Book Review!


Color at the farm.
I have been eagerly reading a book sent to me by Redleaf Press.  The book is Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth.  This informative book is for any educator or active parent who wants some exciting ideas on how to introduce the science of nature to children.  The book is divided into sections such as "Water, Water Everywhere" and "The Food we eat." My favorite chapters are from "Exploring Nature "which will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog!  Some of the suggestions for outdoor activities I have tried in one way or another during my years as a nature teacher to young children; either in The Outdoor Preschool or during one of my Tiny Treks classes.  But there are also a lot of fun ideas on how to expand my teaching.
A suggestion I intend to use soon is the  Color Search.  The idea is to use paint swatches from a home improvement store and let the children hunt for something in nature that color.  I think that could be really fun to do at The Bellevue Botanical Gardens with Tiny Treks or in spring at Farrel-McWhirter.  Another one I hope to do soon is "Barefoot Explorations."  We’ll have to wait and see what the weather in the northwest brings in order to experience that one without freezing our toes!
Nature's Mobiles
As I look through photos of classes I have taught in the past, I can see that there are always more ideas on how to excite children about nature.  The nature mobile above was a cool way to learn the names of some of our local fauna and to practice balance. 
Another suggestion in the book is to take nature and make it playful and fantastical.  Both my Tiny Treks and TOP kids love The Talking Tree -who loves to eat pinecones!
The Talking Tree of course!
In this photo you can see a Great-Grampa and Great-Grandson enjoying and using their walking sticks made from a tree that needed cutting back. The walking sticks were decorated with leather and bells.
Great Grampa and Grandson with their Tiny Treks walking sticks.
If you would like to purchase Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth direct from her publisher by June 30th, you can use the coupon code GREENEARTH to save 30%.

If you would like to try one of the projects from the book as a "look/see",  the publisher has offered a free sample. It is a way to teach recycling by making a recycling monster.   You can download the Recycling Monster instructions here.   What a fun project for a rainy day!

Also-Redleaf Press is offering  one free book to the first person who responds with the name of a deserving early childhood educator who could benefit from this exciting book.
Sometimes it is just simple tools that the kids enjoy-here is a broom!


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