The past week has been all about learning about being Nature Detectives Learning About Trees. Week one of the Experiences Early Learning Curriculum EcoVenture (2021) Nature Detectives (2015) theme is Mystery in the trees.
Day 1: Climbing Trees
Day 2: Building with Trees
Day 3: Painting Trees
Day 4: Counting in Trees
Day 5: Writing with Trees
Day 1: Koala Bear Puppet
We learning about koala bears, one creature who climbs trees. The Experience Curriculum incorporates both process art and craft, or product type art. We did make a puppet. Each child also practiced scissor skills, fine motor development, and hand strength. They were also able to explore literacy and develop self-concept with drama while playing with their puppets. As you can see, each child was able to make their own choices regarding their puppet. We can also see the different levels of ability in drawing and cutting.
Day 2: We made pine cone bird feeders.
Often homemade bird feeders are made with peanut butter but due to allergies, I’ve eliminated peanut butter at my child care. Instead, we used Crisco with some oatmeal mixed in it. This made it easier to handle. I was concerned this wasn’t going to go well based on past experiences, but I think it worked out much better than the time we used peanut butter.
We hung our bird feeders in the garden and our tree. The birds quickly found them! Chickadees, cardinals, and even a little woodpecker that we haven’t seen before came to our tree. It’s been so exciting to watch!
We also explored a tree shape puzzle. I am thrilled to receive these materials to review basic concepts! We need a constant review of shapes, numbers, and the alphabet.
Day 3: Tree Shadow Paintings
I cut the tree shapes on construction with my Silhouette. After taping the tree shape on the blue cardstock paper provided in our kit, the children painted their page as desired. Some wanted to remove the tree shape after painting and some did not.
Day 4: My Nature Collection Books
We didn’t get to these yet, but we will! We enjoyed the day outside in the sun, playing in the water and the sand.
Day 5: Finding Tree Letters Game
We loved this game! It was quiet, with concentration. I like that each child gets a game set to work with on their own. It’s not easy to take turns and really, this game is about letter recognition and allows children to work on self-direction, which we can observe and develops self-confidence.
We have one tree in the backyard and one in the front. We love this little tree in our backyard. In the spring it has beautiful flowers and in the fall, little red “berries”. It’s small enough for the kids to climb up in it just a ways. We play under it and over it all the time. This day we took a closer look. We touched the bark. It’s rough. There are ants on it. What is the green stuff on the bark? What is the bark for? Why is there a crack in the tree? How many branches does our tree have? Why is it leaning? Can we push it over? Such great nature detectives!
Then we explored the tree’s texture by making tree bark rubbings. We like taking art and learning outdoors!
The Busy Tree book is perfect for this theme. The trees are amazing! And busy! They hold nests, provide a home for birds, bugs, and spiders. They are growing and feeding their roots. Trees are strong. Some grow fruit. They provide shade and maybe a place to play. Trees provide oxygen for all of us. I love this closer look at trees.
Week 2 is all about Mystery in the Air.
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