Taking a walk, looking out of a classroom window, or even riding in a car can be exciting for a preschooler. Take these "natural" opportunities to get children excited about nature! Encourage lots of talk about what can be seen. Point out birds in the sky, a rabbit in the grass, or a cloud in the sky that might resemble an animal. To make these observations more fun and to develop key school readiness skills, work with your child (children) to make a pair of binoculars.
You may want to show your children actual binoculars or photos of people using binoculars. Tell children that these help people see animals, birds, or faraway places. We like to tell children that binoculars can help us focus in on certain things about nature.
Once children are excited about binoculars, show them how to take a paper towel roll and cut it in half. This simple instruction and demonstration develops an understanding of fractions!
|Take any opportunity to use math words in conversation.|
We like to use simple painter's tape rather than yarn or string, which can be a bit difficult for young children to handle. Some children may even be able to tear (or begin to tear) the tape themselves which is a wonderful way to develop hand muscles for fine motor control.
|Children can tear their own pieces of tape.|
Put together the paper towel roll as shown below:
|Ready for observing nature!|
Then enjoy a walk. Talk about the birds in the sky. Compare them. What colors did you see? How big is one bird compared to another? Take a look in the grass. Do you see a bunny rabbit?
|Study your own backyard - talk about what you see!|
While these binoculars will not really "work," of course, they will help guide children's eyes to all the wonders of the natural world!
Our favorite part of this activity? Listening to children say the word, binoculars
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