Every now and again I like to make our regular trips to the park a bit different. I love that the kids are outdoors and exercising whilst having fun, but the teacher in me enjoys it when there is also an opportunity to learn something or practise a new skill.
So this week we headed to a park we hadn’t been to for a while, armed with some PVA glue and a scrapbook. After a good energetic play on the equipment, we followed the walking track that snaked amongst the trees and collected things that took our interest.
The scouting and our finds lead to great conversations and learning experiences for the kids, for example….
The leaves – the boys noticed that some leaves were brown and dry while others were green and glossy. We were able to discuss the seasons and evergreen and deciduous trees.
Tree bark – we noticed how different trees had different bark. I compared the bark to our skin, protecting the living inner parts of the tree.
Once we had collected as much as we thought we needed, we returned to the picnic tables to place our finds in the scrapbook.
What was great about this activity was that it was a memento of our trip to the park. Often when Dad gets home in the evening my 4-year-old finds it hard to answer his, “What did you get up to today?” The scrapbook was a great cue to answer this question and he was able to ‘teach’ Dad about the new things he learnt at the park.
The kids obviously enjoyed the activity because the next time we headed to the park, they ran and collected the scrapbook and glue.
In the future I will write about the other ways I ‘mix up’ our park visits. Not only are they great fun for the kids, but they make the visit a little more interesting for us adults too.