You may think that preschoolers are too young to learn about environmental conservation and sustainability. But it’s actually the perfect age.
If you’ve ever sat and watched young children playing outside, you know how kids just seem to have an innate connection to nature. They’re fascinated by the clouds in the sky, the dandelions in a field, the bugs crawling in the dirt.
Environmental education for kids builds on their natural interest, encouraging their curiosity and helping them grow into adults who consider the environmental in everything they do. For this activity, we talked about pollution and how it affects ocean life.
To tie this in with our fish theme, we decided to both create and then “clean up” a bay. Students were first presented with a sensory table full of “dirty” water and “trash”.
They were given nets, recycling bin, and a trash bin to remove the trash.
Following this, students were presented with a sensory table full of clean water, abundant with sea life. Lastly, we had a discussion about why it is so important to throw our trash away in trash cans.
Measurement concepts are often a part of children’s interactions. “My dad is bigger,” “I can jump higher,” and “I have more play dough than you!” are common comparisons that children make.
From the child’s perspective, these statements compare quantity; however, they also provide a nice introduction to measurement. Unfortunately, it is an often neglected content standard in early childhood classrooms.
Throughout the many projects we do throughout the week, we are constantly measuring, comparing, and contrasting items related to the theme. For this activity, your little one was presented with a problem.
They were each given seven pictures of fish that were of varying length. They were then asked to sort them by size. The target words for this activity were long, longer, and longest.
The largest ant in the world is the giant Amazonian ant which can reach an impressive size of 1.6 inches in length.
Found only in South America, these huge red ants are happy to live in both the rainforest and the coastal regions. The females are jet black while the males are a dark red color and they can be territorial when faced with other ants.
The giant Amazonian ants commonly make their nests in both soil and sand and don’t travel further than thirty feet when searching for food. They eat a wide variety of plants and insects as well as spiders, snails, and crickets.
For this activity, we first watched a short clip of these voracious eaters. Following this, we created our very own ant hills out of sand and toy figure ants.
Fine motor skills are finger and hand skills such as writing, cutting, opening lunch boxes, and tying shoe laces.
The development of these skills relies upon age appropriate development of physical skills (such as core trunk control and shoulder strength) providing the stable base from which the arm and hand can then move with control.
For this activity, we used tweezers and pom poms to make the letter B!
Thinking of the visual arts in early childhood education can initially evoke an image of a child standing at an easel, thick stubby paint brush in hand with bright acrylic poster paint spreading quickly across the page.
However, research has shown the visual arts to be a rich domain through which young children can explore and represent their experiences, think through and deepen their working theories, and develop their creative thinking.
It is through the visual arts that children learn about the symbolic systems of representation and communication valued by their communities.
For this activity, we used tissue paper to create butterfly wings.
These fascinating creatures (butterflies) have beautiful wings made of chitin and scales.
Students glued each “scale” (or tissue paper) to construction paper along with their friends!