NATURE DETECTIVES

Our last few articles touched on the important roles of moms and dads.  Parenting influences a child’s outcome, but does nurture or nature have greater impact? What role does father-God’s creation or Mother nature’s evolution play in the development of your child? How often does your family interact with nature?

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hiking with Mi Families & Adventure Academy friends

Defining nature vs nurture may not include the great outdoors, but it should.  I grew up in metro-Detroit, yet my best family memories are outside of the city – camping in the U.P, apple pickin’ at Papa’s farm, climbing up the Rockies, riding horses in Texas and Alabama, swimming in the ocean – swimming in the Great Lakes… I do love the city (the museums, sporting events …), I miss the  cultural diversity living in the Detroit and Los Angeles areas, but I can always visit a city.  Acres between farms and forest is my home now and instead of nature being something my boys wait for as I did – it’s our life.  Learning to respect nature is a part of sustaining life beyond us.  I thought this lifestyle might make my boys crave the city, and they do love our travels, but they request camping when given the option.

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singin’ by the campfire with dad and uncle Paul

We just got back from a much needed campout.  My husband travels a lot for work and he’s about to start directing a show outta town, then will be the director of photography on a movie this fall, so who knows when we’ll be able to escape to ‘da U.P’ again. The funny thing is that at home we still wake to the sounds of wildlife and even watched a family of deer and bunnies eating breakfast while we ate ours this morning! But it’s different with the distraction of TV and computers… In a world of technology escaping to nature is more important than ever for children.

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discovering nature live

I was excited to see Mother Goose Time was making a “Nature Detective” theme for this months curriculum.  I work with Mother Goose Time and can assure you the dedication from the staff developing the lessons and creating the supplies.  Many ask why they make a theme last a whole month – but if you engage a student, a theme can last a lifetime! There’s always something to continue learning about and discovering in each theme, especially a theme like nature.  Nature, like all units, has been divided into weekly sub themes.  This month: Mystery in the trees, air, water and dirt.  My boys are most excited about the dirt week!

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picking up curriculum at Mother Goose Time office

NATURE DETECTIVE CURRICULUM: Unboxing

Another asset to this curriculum is that it can be adapted for younger and older students.  You can simplify the lessons for toddlers or build on them for older students, like my sons.  This week we have been investigating trees. Each sub-theme has an area before the lessons begin to write down what “we know,” “wonder” about and what “we learned” – and we learned a lot by building onto each lesson and expanding where their interest led.  We can’t wait for more kids to join our discoveries as we continue the sub-themes.

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day1 – koala bear’s climb trees…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each sub-theme is divided into 5 days with 4 activities each day, plus circle time suggestions.  Day 1 was “Climbing trees” which we did! We made “dough critters” but instead of doing the simple salt-dough recipe the boys wanted to make sugar cookies so they could eat their “critters.”  Some critters were real animal cookie-cutter prints, some were made up creatures.  Apparently the mini half-cow/half-anteater that climbed trees was the tastiest, but it kept trying to fly away!

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tree parts and shapes

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tree parts and shapes x2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 was “Building with Trees,” which we did – a tree was chopped down recently which gave us lots of real logs to build a fort with, which they decided was a great animal habitat but not quite big enough for themselves.  We get A LOT of bunnies, deer, raccoons, opossums, porcupines, turkeys…bear…hoping no bear live in our fort! Best guess is snakes.  We already made some bird houses earlier so we were excited to make the bird feeders outta pinecones to place near their homes.

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hanging one of the bird feeders on the post by the bird house & bath

The boys were having so much fun with day 2, we continued and did day 3&4 (Painting & Counting with Trees) ~it was a long day! We made a mess painting in many ways, but our fave was spinning the color wheel and figuring out how to make the secondary colors with the primary colors we had – and using nature as our paint brushes.  They also LOVED the nature collection books and after the book was filled they made a box full of other treasures they found on our hikes.  The “treasures” will be used for future activities…

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painting with nature

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adding tree

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Nature Collection

Day 5 (Writing with Trees) gave opportunity to reflect on our new tree knowledge and led to discussions of what we will discover in future lessons.  The boys love that the lessons are so hands on.  Other kids I work with love that they have materials to take home daily to show their parents what they accomplished.  I’m excited to use Mother Goose Time again as I open up a new educational program for toddlers, preschoolers and homeschool families.  ADVENTURE ACADEMY is offering tutoring sessions this summer and will provide a full day program starting this fall.  Adventure Academy will live up to its name and offer adventures daily and utilize hands on curriculums such as Mother Goose Time to assure kids academic achievements.  To learn more about Mother Goose Time click HERE. To learn more about Adventure Academy click HERE – to learn more about Mi Families click HERE – to learn more about who I am click HERE or simply read more of my blogs! Thanks for reading this one and please subscribe above and comment below. Also check out our FACEBOOK, Pinterest, Twitter & LinkedIN pages!!!!

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Finding Tree Letters – and going orange pickin

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building trees with the letter sticks and shape manipulatives

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letter stick writing

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