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Outdoor projects for children

Guest columnist

Summer is here!
This is the time to explore nature, animals, habitats and all of the outdoor magic to help teach your children about the world.
Kim Ward, Technical Assistant with the Partnership for Children has some suggestions for creative art projects to do with your children.
Finding items around the house can be great fun. Try decorating paper towel rolls with leaves, sticks or acorns. This can be a child’s first three-dimensional art project. Use spray bottles to paint with water or mix washable paint to spray on wood, paper or rocks. Using paper, pencils, crayons and paint have your child draw what they see and hear.
Art teaches self-expression and helps develop pre-writing skills, math, sensory awareness and teaches a sense of pride, Ward said.
“Children learn about nature by making their own vision of what they’ve seen,” Ward said.
Teach colors found in nature. Green (grass, leaves, stalks), brown/black (tree bark, insects, dirt), blue/purple (sunrise, flowers, berries, grapes), red/pink (berries, flowers), and yellow (apple tree bark, the sun).
Allow children to make their own birds nest using sticks, leaves and pine needles.
A good book to contribute with your child’s nature art is, The Listening Walk by Paul Showers. The story is about a little girl who goes for a walk with her Father and explores the sounds and sights of her walk.
Great Summer Reads:

  • Plant a Little Seed by Christensen, Bonnie
  • Underground by Fleming, Denise
  • Yucky Worms by French, Vivian
  • Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! By Fuge, Charles
  • Construction Kitties by Goodwin-Sturges, Judy Sue
  • Hello, Day! By Lobel, Anita
  • Peep and Ducky by Martin, David
  • See Me Dig by Meisel, Paul
  • Sea Turtle Hatchlings by Owen, Ruth
  • The Coral Reef: A Giant City Under the Sea by Person, Stephen
  • A Baby Sea Otter Story by Rustad, Martha E.H.
  • Hot Air Balloons by Schuh, Mari C
  • A Stick is an Excellent Thing: poems celebrating outdoor play by Singer, Marilyn
  • Superhero by Tauss, Marc
  • The Princess and the Pea by Vaes, Alain
  • Red, White and Boom! By Wardlaw, Lee
  • Should I Share my Ice Cream? By Willems, Mo
  • The Deep Blue Sea: A Book of Colors by Wood, Audrey

Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?
The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.

Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator with the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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