April 20, 2020
Bravo! this Week | April 20
This week, in recognition of Earth Day (Wednesday, 4/22), we’ll be exploring the earth and nature around us. Plus, with older children, we’ll introduce concepts of recycling and conservation. If you’re home, here’s some earth-inspired activities you can try. We hope these activities will bring some happy to your days!
Infants & 1YOs
Earth Day Discovery Bottles
Take some clean, empty water bottles and fill them with some Earth-themed materials for children to explore. Seal the caps onto the bottles with hot glue to ensure it will not come off:
- Sticks, leaves, pinecones, rocks, etc.
- Colored water and clear oil, to make waves.
Digging in Dirt
Fill a shallow container with a layer of soil, and small shovels or other sandbox tools. As children explore the bin, you can talk about what the soil looks like, smells like, and feels like. Provide plastic pots or empty containers for them to scoop the soil into, too, and take this activity outside!
Paper Towel Tube Building
Cut paper towel tubes into varying sizes. Place in a space for children to explore, along with some pieces of blue painter’s tape. Show children how they can try and stack the paper towel tubes on top of each other like blocks, and how the painter’s tape can be used to hold two pieces together.
Nature Prints in Playdough
Provide your child with a chunk of playdough and a rolling pin, if you have one. Go outside and invite your child to collect some natural items – leaves, sticks, flowers. Then, come back invite your child to flatten the playdough and press a natural item into it. Look at the prints that are made from the natural object, and talk about what it looks like (how you can see the veins in the leaves, the petals from the flowers, the texture of the twig).
Nature Color Hunt
Take an empty egg carton and use paint or markers to color each space a different color. Take this outdoors, and encourage children to find items in nature that match each color!
Use chalk to draw clouds all over a driveway or sidewalk space. Write numbers inside several of the clouds. Use the numbers to guide children’s movement – “Fly like a bird until you land on a number – what number are you on? 4? Jump 4 times!”
Set up a table with paper and glue. Go outside with your child, and invite them to gather many natural items – grass, leaves, flowers, petals, etc. Place the items near the paper and glue, and invite children to create a nature collage by gluing the materials onto the paper.
Sun-Melted Recycled Crayons
Gather some cookie cutters, aluminum foil, a paper plate, and broken or short crayons. Peel any remaining wrapper off of the crayons. Wrap the paper plate in aluminum foil. Bring the materials outside and place the plate in a sunny place. Place the cookie cutters on the plate, and put the crayon pieces inside. Then, wait! The heat of the sun with the metal in the aluminum foil will melt the crayons. When they have cooled you’ll have a new, multi-colored crayon in a fun shape!
*If the temperature outside is cooler, you may need to cut or break the crayons into smaller pieces. The larger the pieces, the longer they will take to melt.
You will need a die, playdough, and manipulative item (like pony beads, decorative stones, buttons). Provide a bowl of your chosen manipulative, and divide playdough into three balls. Have the child roll the die, and place that number of manipulatives into the first ball of playdough. Then, roll again and repeat with the second ball. Have your child count the number of manipulatives in the first ball and the second ball, and place the total number into the last ball of playdough. You can add to this activity by arranging the balls of playdough on paper with a + sign and = sign.
Milk Jug Catchers and Newspaper Balls
You will need clean milk jugs, duct tape, scissors, and newspaper. Follow the instructions at the link here to create your milk jug catchers. Then, ball up some newspaper and cover with duct tape, to give it some added weight. Go outside and play a game of catch, using the milk jug to catch the ball!
Have children go outside and collect some natural objects – leaves, small branches, twigs and sticks, etc. Bring them inside to observe the natural objects, then provide children with brushes and paint to decorate them. Children will have to adjust the pressure they put on the objects so they don’t break, especially the leaves.
Outdoor Math Exploration
Set up a few outdoor math experiences for children to interact with as they please:
- Collect many rocks. Label them with numbers for children to explore – you can adjust the numbers based on your child’s age and school level.
- Write a line of numbers on the sidewalk with chalk. Children can choose to collect items and add them to the number line, or play an addition or subtraction game and jump to each number.