Mama May I giveaway still going on! Check out Day 144 for the review and to enter the giveaway!!
Too stuffed full of turkey to move? Hopefully not yet!!
The Holidays can be so much fun but exhausting and crazy at the same time. For us it means FIVE grandchildren all five years old and under gathered in one house. So how do you keep little ones busy, out of trouble and able to releash some energy on this great Fall Holiday? Take them outside! Without some outside time we would go stir crazy. And adding the two nieces and nephew to the mix only makes out outdoor time that much more fun.
Today our little ones will be meeting trees. Here is what I have lined up for them (the photographer will be in tow so be prepared for pictures soon!).
What you need - a yard, park or forest full of trees. Other materials are not necessary but could add to the fun and will be mentioned later!
1. Grab your little ones and head outside. Tell each kid to find their favorite tree.
2. Have them lay down on the ground and look up through the branches. What do they see? What does it look like? Who might see a tree this way (bug, squirrel, bird, rabbit, etc.)? Do they see any holes in the tree where an animal might live?
3. Have them explore the base of tree. Look for any roots that might be sticking out of the ground, holes where animals might be living or bugs that are walking on the tree. If you have a magnifying glass that would be a fun tool to introduce.
4. Bark rubbings. If you have paper and crayons you could do bark rubbings on the tree. Simple put the paper up against the tree and rub the crayon (laying flat against the paper with the crayon wrapper peeled off) against the paper. Talk about how different trees have different kinds of bark and have the kids compare their rubbings.
5. If there are still leaves present you could do leaf rubbings. Pieces of cardboard work well out in the field as a hard surface to do the rubbings on.
6. Using the carboard, paper and crayons have them sit down a little ways away from thier tree and draw it. Are there leaves still on it? What shape, size, color are the branches? Is the tree really tall and skinny or short and wide?
7. See how big the trees are. How many people, holding hands, does it take to be able to make a circle around the tree? See if the kids can find a tree small enough that they can wrap their arms all the way around it. See if they can can find one big enough that even with everyone in the group you still can't get all the way around it.
8. Climb the tree! Adult supervision very much needed!! Even if a toddler can only stand on the lowest branch, with adult hands helping to support, the sensation will be something new and exciting and the perspective on the tree and ground below will be something new. Encourage them to pretend to be a squirrel, which branches would they like the best? Where would they want to climb? Where would they sit and eat their lunch? Or if they were a bird where would they want to build their nest?
These are all great activities that can keep a wide range of kids entertained and enjoying the outdoors.
The Nitty Gritty!
Got one more for you. If you have older kids bring a long a blindfold of some kind (stocking hat that can be pulled down, bandana, etc.). Once they have found a tree that they like and have done some of the above activities for their specific tree bring them back a little ways away from their tree. Put the blindfold on them to a tree. Have them feel the tree, walk around the tree and make as many observation about what they hear and feel as they can. Is this the tree they were working with earlier? Do several trees and see if they can find their tree. This activity does require a yard or park that has more than just a couple of trees.
I have always thought a Meet A Tree birthday party would be really fun for a young group of kids. Have the party at a nature center or park and after they are all full of cake and ice cream take them outside to play with the trees!