Saturday, June 8, 2013

National Get Outdoors Day!

To see a news review of our festivities check out this link!

We celebrated National Get Outdoors Day a day early at Woodlawn Nature Center.
The ETHOS Science 2 Go Bus was scheduled to come; however, the bus was having technical difficulties. Matt McQueen was still able to bring many of his planned activities and improvised with some of the technology. The children sorted leaf cards and then tried to find the leaves/trees outside. It was so neat to watch them find the correlating leaf and carrying it around--beginning identification skills!

Another activity was to go get "leaf litter" outside. Then the children brought it back inside to look at under the scope hooked up to a big TV. They had identification cards to help name the critters. It was helpful as my 4-year-old only wants to call pill bugs by rollie pollies by the common name, not even allowing pill bugs, sow bugs, isopods, etc. This detailed magnification was from a scope in the Center--I'll have to explore this more! He also had a canopy cover exercise, tree rubbing plates, and a neat sifter to separate different sizes of leaf litter. 

Matt has excellent interaction skills with the children. He knows how to let them ask questions and investigate answers!

We had story time outside in the shade, reading several stories about nature. Here we are imagining we were snails! We read The Reason for a Flower and The Snail's Spell, as well as other books. We also sang a few songs.

The children were delightful! It's obvious they get outdoors!

There were also recreational activities, such as hula hoops, balls, and more. It was neat to see an adult or two try it out as well! 

We played with a parachute and tried frisbee tic-tac-toe. 

The small playground was full! 

My kids planned out an obstacle course. It was kind of interesting, as they had been using electronics for a while that morning. I asked them to create an obstacle course for other kids to use and they were outside for several hours after that, planning, scheming, and then just engrossed in being outside! A good challenge can be a wonderful motivator! We found that to be true with the Watershed Activity. Prizes motivated us on that too.  

Later, we made natural faces with clay and found materials. It was great to see all the different ways the children put these together!


We also had an impromptu watermelon seed spitting contest--seemed like a perfect activity to get ready for summer! Healthy snacks hit the spot!

It was a fun day! I like combining nature activities with recreation. My boys do too. Over 100 people attended the event! One girl said, "This is the funnest place ever!" Success!