I have this grand plan to do lots of outdoor experiential learning when I stay home with the kids next year. I intend to bring them out to breathe lots of fresh air and get in touch with nature A LOT, and if we do serendipitously get caught in the rain, eat some mud and fall asleep on rolling hills, yea! – that will be perfect.
So item #5 on my to-do list is to schedule plenty of field trips for exploration and discovery. Here’s what I plan to do:
1) Explore nature with the kids (Ideas adapted from parentmap.com)
Seeing the world through a magnifying glass: Get the kids to look at everything in the park up close with a magnifying glass
Catching bugs: Make simple plastic boxes with removable lids for crawly critters, and try to catch some of our common city bugs like shiny black beetles, grubs and caterpillars.
Drawing what you see: Bring drawing paper and crayons and have the kids draw/colour whatever they see at the park; this will be followed by a conversation to have them share their favourite part of the park and why they’ve decided to draw what they drew.
2) Go to the wet market
Yes, shopping for fresh food will be a field trip in itself. Kids will get to learn the parts of the fish – gills, scales, gut, whatever – and get to touch their cold dead bodies. (Reminder to self: must bring sanitiser and wet wipes.) Kids will also learn to count by helping Mom take the required number of carrots, potatoes and onions, and how to manage simple accounting by holding the grocery purse.
3) Visit the zoo to learn about the animals, one animal at a time
Since we have the zoo membership, we’ll make good use of it next year by going there as often as we can. Children can take turns to choose an exhibit/enclosure and we will only head to the selected one for each trip. We’ll learn all we can about that particular animal. Follow-up activity includes going to the library for the rest of the week to read up about the animal (non-fiction) and find stories featuring the animal (fiction).
4) Take a bus / MRT / LRT to any destination and people-watch
Perfect lesson to teach modes of transportation, occupations and parts of a vehicle / transportation system.
5) Build sandcastles on the beach
This is to make sure kids can walk on sand barefoot without going “eewww”. Kids can also learn to mould things with their imagination.
6) Play at the various kid-friendly parks, pay money to go longkang fishing (again and again) to train dexterity and go to the Animal Resort near our place before it relocates. Also visit the new Gallop Stable at Punggol when it opens.
Learn about small animals, horses and pets. Play and expend energy!