Written by Ksenia LL
How important is it for your child to spend time outdoors? Very! When children play outside, they get healthier, stronger and happier. But let’s imagine, they are done with all the action and are ready for a peaceful, stress-free and parent-connecting activity.
Watching Nature with your child is not only entertaining, it also helps develop creative, conceptual and visual thinking.
First, we are going to watch the Sun.
Go to the park and look around. Discuss these simple questions together with your little one:
- Let’s describe our sun. Is it square? No? Yellow? Cold? Warm?
- Is it kind to us?
- What does it give us?
- What does it give to animals and birds?
- Why is everyone happy when it rises in the morning?
Ask your child to place one of his palms on top of a bench on the sunny side, and the second one – under the bench. Where is it warmer? And why?
Now let’s play a Sun game!
- When I say “Summer” – spread your arms and lift yourself on the tiptoes;
- When I say “Spring” – fold your arms and bend your knees a little;
- When I say “Winter” – sit even lower;
- And what should you do when I say “Autumn”?
In the next few days continue helping your child to expand her knowledge in this area. Find together more answers:
- When is the sun warmer? In the morning? In the afternoon? In the evening?
- What is happening with plants, and birds, under the sunlight?
- Where does sun go when there are clouds in the sky?
- Where does sun go to sleep and where does it wake up?
In the first day of your Watching the Nature activity invite your child to start an exhibition which will be called “Watching the Nature is Fun!” and every day ask her to add new masterpieces to the collection. Ask her to draw and paint everything connected to the Suns (for example, sunset, plants growing, birds singing, children playing under the Sun)
The second object we are going to watch is the Sky.
When you have a minute, talk to your child about the Sky:
- Is the sky always the same? Or is it different?
- How different can it be?
- What can happen if it is low and gray?
- What do we usually do when it’s blue and bright?
- Can you describe the sky today?
Use the opportunity to talk about the clouds, if there are any in the sky. Try to define how fast they are flying. Mention to your child that they never stay the same, that they are always changing. Find together the clouds that look like something or someone.
In the next few days continue exploring the sky.
- Where do clouds come from?
- Why the sky is light during the day and dark at night?
- Why can’t we see the stars during the day?
- When can we see a rainbow in the sky?
- What is making clouds fly in the sky?
Let’s not forget about our awesome painting exhibition and ask your child to draw or paint the sky and pretty much everything connected to it (night sky with stars, day sky with clouds, a bird or a plane in the sky, your child becoming a superhero and flying in the sky).
Our third object is the Rain.
Let’s wait until it starts raining (for those who live in San Diego, I guess, you just can skip this last part).
Today we still go for a walk. We put on rain boots, take bubbles and umbrella.
First, while it is still raining, we can hide under the umbrella and just watch the rain. We can see the drops falling from the sky, jumping into the puddles. If we open our palms towards the sky, we can feel fresh raindrops on our skin.
Now, when the rain has stopped, let’s play. What can you do outside right after the rain? Here are some suggestions:
- Checking the depth of a puddle with a stick;
- Watching bubbles falling on the surface of a puddle and not bursting for a while;
- Throwing wooden sticks in a puddle;
- Drawing with the rainboots on the dry part of a pavement.
And of course, let’s talk about the rain. Together with your child discuss these questions:
- Where does the rain come from?
- Are there different kinds of rain?
- What does rain give us? What does it give to the plants, animals and birds?
- Why is there usually no rain in the winter?
At home, let’s paint and draw more! Rain is never the same color. Suggest to your child to mix different colors and just improvise!
Similarly, you can watch different aspects of Nature together with your child. At a park, listen to the birds, look for birds’ nests high on the trees, find unusual plants, snails and caterpillars. This completely stress-free and easy-to-do activity will tremendously benefit both of you. It will give your child the opportunity to explore, develop and engage with Nature. And what will it give you? The opportunity to connect with you little one and enjoy the things around.