Circle time: Introducing the forest to preschoolers

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on June 16, 2011

in A Tree for Me, Activity Boxes, Children's Books, Forest, World Environment Day

One way I like to introduce a new concept to young children is by filling up my treasure box with little trinkets that inspire questions and conversation about that topic. Today’s treasure box is a forest box…

Inside my forest box are different items one might find if they went for a walk in the forest. As I pull out each item, I invite the children to tell me about what they see…

Although I don’t live in the forest, I do live near the woods so it was easy to find items that would also be found in the forest like rocks, trees, seeds, dirt, and sticks…

A “treasure box” can be made for just about any topic. What is in the box can inspire creativity, conversation, questions, and other kinds of interaction during your circle time. Along with my forest box, I found a book about trees titled “A Tree for Me” by Nancy Van Laan….

With any new concept, I want to bring in children’s books that help to expand on the topic. This book is about a little boy who goes on adventure through the woods looking for a tree he can claim as his own. However, in each tree he discovers that other creatures like owls, squirrels, and worms have already claimed the tree for their own. After a bit of searching, the little boy discovers a tree he can call his very own too…

One thing that all the items in my forest box seem to have in common is their color. The forest is rich with lots of variations of greens and browns. This is a wonderful way to explore these two colors a little further. I gathered some green and brown paint chips (compliments of our local Lowes paint center) to expand on these two colors…

The items in my forest box are not just for discussion, they are also for touching and exploring. At this table all the items are set out to let the children touch and feel them…

Writing tools and magnifiers are also added to provide further kinds of exploration or creativity…

The children can use the writing tools for tracing if they wish but really, it is up to the children how they wish to use these additional tools…

At another table, the paint chips are set out so the children can create their own forest of browns and greens….

This is a much large version of a tree in the forest…

And at another table, the sticks are set out for making designs and giving additional opportunity for touch and exploration…

This post is one of many different posts shared this week for the Forest Fiesta. Now that you have an idea of how to introduce the forest to your preschoolers, take a look at the other wonderful forest ideas shared by my blogging friends from all around the world. If you are viewing this from a reader or by email, you may need to come to my blog to view the linky.

 

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