Skills: experimenting; predicting
Materials: paper towels,
pan of water
Directions: Give each child a paper towel. Ask them to put it in the pan of water, wring it out, and then hang it out to dry. Check the towels until they dry. Where did the water go?
Adaptations: Place a wet towel in the sun and one in the shade. Which one do you think will dry first? Why?
Spray water on each child’s hand. Have them run around for a few minutes. Where did the water go?
Place a jar of water on the playground. Record the water level every day. How long did it take to evaporate?
Skills: observing; experimenting
Materials: large glass jar,
Directions: Fill the jar with very hot water. Place the pie pan on top of the jar and fill with ice cubes. Observe what happens. What made it “rain” in the jar?
Adaptations: Teach children this song to the tune of “My Darling Clementine.”
The Water Cycle
Evaporation (Push palms up.)
Condensation (Hands together in air.)
Precipitation all around (Wiggle fingers down.)
Accumulation (Sweep arms in circle.)
Evaporation (Push palms up.)
The water cycle goes
Round and round (Make circles with arms.)
HUMAN SUN DIAL
Materials: sunny day,
Directions: Have one child face north at 9:00 in the morning. Mark where the child is standing and trace around their shadow with chalk. Have the child stand in the same spot at 12:00 and 2:00 and draw around their shadow. Why does the shadow change when the person is standing still?
Adaptations: Play shadow tag where children try to step on each other’s shadows.
Skills: observing; communicating
Materials: Explain that your class is going to “adopt” a tree on the
playground. Take a walk on the playground and find that special
tree. Let the children name their tree. Hug it. How does it feel?
How does it smell? Can you hear it? Draw pictures of the tree and
let the children dictate or write own stories about the tree.
Put them together to make a class book.
Adaptations: Observe the changes in the tree during different seasons. Take
photographs of the tree and record in a book.
Directions: Take your class on a feeling walk. Let them touch various objects
in nature and describe how they feel. Ask them to close their eyes
and try to identify an object in their hands by using their sense of
touch. What things do you like to feel? What things do you not
like to feel?
Adaptations: Take a listening walk where children close their eyes and identify
the sounds in their environment.
Go on a “smelling” walk where children try to identify different
smells in nature.
NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT
Materials: paper bags
Directions: Divide the children into small groups. Give each group a bag and
the list below. Let the children hunt until they find all the items. Compare results.
CAN YOU FIND?
Something alive (but not an animal or bug)
Something dead (but not an animal or bug)
Something that smells good
Something smaller than you
Something older than you
Something the size of your thumb
Something that feels rough
Something that feels soft
Something that is beautiful to you
Something that does not belong there
Click for larger image
Adaptations: Do the nature scavenger hunt as a large group activity with
Return the objects to the playground after observing them.