Do you have worms?

Jun 27, 2016
Do you have worms?

One of my most vivid memories as a young teacher was the kids’ fascination with worms. On our playground, which was mostly dirt with a little grass and some trees, there were tree stumps about two feet tall that children would sit on and pound with hammers. Every day they would ask us to tip a stump over so they could look at the bugs and worms crawling underneath.

Connecting with Nature

Watching the squirming, the crowded movement was fascinating to them and to me as I watched the wonder on their sweet faces.

Children marvel at things adults find ordinary, messy or even boring. From a children’s point of view, there are so many things to look at, hold, rub, taste and smell. – Deb Curtis and Margie Carter, The Art of Awareness

Connection with nature is an excellent learning experience. Watching the clouds in the sky, studying plants, bark, bugs, even blades of grass, making mud, digging holes – all these things encourage children to observe, question, and learn about the world around them.

Research tells us that experiences with nature give children:

  • Better cognitive functioning
  • More self-discipline and impulse control
  • Greater resilience when stressed
  • Better mental health overall*

Experiences with nature also help with “remembry problems” like attention deficit disorder.

All knowledge begins in observation. – Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Sparks of Genius

Beating the Heat

As we enter the hottest days of summer, you’ve got to deal with the heat. Here are two approaches you can take.

1) Do everything you can to make it cooler!

An igloo with COLD water readily available is a must (refresh with ice as often as you need), spray bottles of water that teachers can spray on hot kids (and themselves), bring a fan outside so kids can stand in front of it as you spray them with water, take your water table outside and have it available for play, plan your outdoor time in the early mornings and stay in the shade.

2)Make your outdoor activities so engaging that they forget it’s hot!

Provide a rich play environment with lots of choices and talk about your plans before you go outside. Create anticipation! Make changes from week to week so kids will stay interested.

Click here to download a list of 10 outdoor activities that beat the heat!

*  The Great Outdoors – Advocating for Natural Spaces for Young Children, Mary S. Rivkin, NAEYC

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