Nature at Our School: Explore

 I received a copy of The Nature Connections:  An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms and was totally inspired.  Clare Walker Leslie encourages kids (and the adults who nurture kids) to look right around them for nature.  As soon as I started thinking about this, nature was everywhere!  The book itself is more geared towards older kids, but the ideas are very relevant for early childhood and can easily be adapted.

 My school has a small, yet wonderful children's garden filled with herbs, flowers, and a huge butterfly bush.  I decided that it was the perfect spot to introduce to kids.  First we talked about being a "scientist" who discovers new things and asks questions in order to find answers. 
As we walked around the garden, we used our senses as a basis for our explorations.  We all found things to taste (cherry tomatoes and mint leaves), smell (flowers and herbs), hear (birds and insects), touch (the texture of leaves and furry vines), and see (butterflies were the highlight).
The kids responded so well - it was amazing to see them get excited about the school environment.  We will continue to explore nature at our urban school throughout the year.  I'll keep you posted!

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