I have never seen a child being bored in nature. Wonder outdoors never stops. Open-ended play always evolves. Imagination gains vivid and intense colours. Nature conveys peace into a child’s heart and mind leaving no room for worry. To quote Maria Montessori:
” There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.. That the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates”.
Maria Montessori was very wise to point that in nature children learn about the world at large. Nature helps them to understand our place in it as humans developing respect for the order that rains in nature and guides the flow of life from one for to another.
Once I’ve begun homeschooling my preschooler by firmly establishing a daily routine and weekly schedule, I realised that I can lose many learning opportunities without including natural activities in our curriculum. I implemented a natural environment to teach early learning concepts and encourage natural wonder, curiosity, and knowledge of the outside world we live in. It is done by extending indoor activities into the outdoor setting. Just like during the Montessori cycle at home, outdoor learning is primarily child-driven. I set my daughter with the right tools and give a task guide allowing her to take control and lead further.
This week we took off to visit local Botanical Garden that has incredibly bright colours to explore. Tools we used:
- magnifying glass
- coloured texters
I love using printables whenever I can. However, I also think that it’s great to draw, colour, write things by hand for a child to observe and, hopefully, get encouraged to follow the example. And when the time comes learning to write won’t be a chore, but a natural part of life she saw me do all the time.
We began an outdoor nature colour hunt by brainstorming possible colours we might find along the way and made the chart. My role was to remind what colours were on our list to help the child to stay on task. Attention to detail is a great skill to teach young children. The magnifying glass does a great job when it comes to that. Looking at different colours of blooming trees and flowers was a perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous week’s topic – parts of the flower.
One of the precious skills that get developed through this exercise is the ability to observe. It involves self-driven deeper learning – a great skill to have that is beneficial in any profession.
We kicked off our weekly outdoor exploration activities and I will be sharing them as we go. I have a couple more posts lined up with outdoor math explorations, and beach and seaside Montessori inspired outdoor activities. You can subscribe to receive newsletters with fresh content, but also access nature hunt printables I made earlier.