It’s believed that nature can be used to enhance your child’s education in childcare or at school, but how can you use those same principles to keep the learning going at home?
Playing in nature – in the name of education – is a great way to involve children in meaningful, multi-sensory and kinaesthetic learning experiences. Applying an outdoor element to traditional classroom activities can bring shy children out of their shells and encourage a different way of thinking.
While your child will enjoy nature-based activities during their time at Edge Early Learning, there are a number of benefits to trying these activities at home, too. They focus on emotional development, ensuring children have a chance to increase their self-esteem and confidence, and the kinaesthetic style of learning is accessible for most children. With that being said, here are five ways you can embrace nature play at home.
- Built a stick fort. If you live near bushland, you should be able to find large branches and leaves to make a human-sized fort – if not, collect smaller sticks to make a tepee for dolls! Making a stick fort is all about balance, so prepare for patience to be tested.
- Make a leaf garland. Collect fallen leaves then, using a thread and twine, pierce each leaf and thread the twine through the hole, repeating with each leaf. Soon enough, you will have a garland made entirely of leaves. Decorate them with paint or pens or leave (pun intended) them bare for a natural look.
- Paint with nature. Sticks, leaves, flowers and bark make interesting painting tools, and are perfect for creating unique artwork. With these ‘natural’ paintbrushes, your children will only be limited by their imaginations. Using flowers as stamps is also a creative way to apply paint, and you’ll get interesting textures from stamping with bark.
- Make a (real) flower crown. You’ve seen them all over Pinterest, but did you know the tools for making a flower crown are right outside your home? Collect an array of leaves and flowers and attach them to a piece of cardboard to make your very own.
- Bake mud cupcakes. With toppings and all! Use silicon cupcake liners and plenty of soil, leaves and flowers to turn your backyard into a cupcake bakery. This is a great activity for learning about quantity, whilst letting the mini chefs also flex their creative muscles.