January makes getting outdoors even harder, which also means cabin fever is starting to set in. This is why we love this full moon schedule! It gives us a fun January activity!
Gear up with some blankets and a thermos full of hot coffee and enjoy some night sky gazing!
January 31- Wolf Moon
March 1st- Worm Moon
March 31st- Blue Moon
April 29th- Pink Moon
May 29th- Corn Planting Moon
June 28th- Strawberry Moon
July 27th- Thunder Moon
August 26th- Green Corn Moon
September 24th- Harvest Moon
October 24th- Hunter’s Moon
November 23rd- Frost Moon
December 22nd- Long Night Moon
Being outdoors has incredible benefits, and with spring being just a few months away, we’re compiling some of our favorite sensory activities for littles!
#1. Mud Pie Kitchen
Some of our favorite memories were those of making mud “food”. We would mold the mud into whatever our imaginations created and then would paint the creations once they dried.
#2. Creek Wading
#3. Pine Cone Sorting
Our little guy loves to gather all the different pinecones and sort them according to size.
#4. Leaf Threading
A thin stick will work just as well for threading leaves together. This is another one of our favorites!
#5. Stone Sorting
Grab a little bucket, and let them start a collection!
#6. Lots of Grass
Playing in the grass is one of the best sensory things to do with littles!
#7. Tree Bark Rubbing/Art
Take a large piece of paper and hold it (or tape it) on the tree. Then take some chalk and gently rub the paper over the bark! The results are beautiful!
#8. Barefoot Sensory Walk
You can walk on grass, small pebbles, sand, mud, and so much more!
#9. Water Play
Playing with water can inspire so much imagination!
If you have a smooth surface and some chalk, the possibilities are endless!
Unfortunately, the amount of time that children spend engaged in unstructured, child-directed outdoor play has diminished significantly in the past generation. Schools have opted out of recess and play time in favor of a more structured academic period. As many years of research has shown, that it causing more harm than good. Here are some of the amazing benefits that come with outdoor free play!
Playing outdoors gives children the opportunity to make decisions and problem solve, it provides an environment for creative thinking, and makes children use a higher level of sequence, planning, and organizing.
Outdoor play provides more opportunity for movement which in turn greatly decreases the likelihood of developing of developing obesity and disease. It also magnifies the use of fine and gross motor skills!
Overall, children who are active outdoors have much better moods, have a decrease in hyperactivity, and are less likely to have symptoms related to anxiety and depression.
The development in empathy, an increase in self-esteem, and the development of emotional intelligence is all part of getting outdoors to play! 🙂
Research has also shown that playing outdoors provides increased social interactions, higher levels of sharing, cooperating, and helping!
Play skills help develop creativity, and provide endless opportunities for imagination and engagement! 🙂
When a tree falls, its life is over. But the tree can still give life to others. The dead tree becomes its own ecosystem, where plants, insects, and microorganisms thrive-from the mosses, ferns, and fungi that make the rotting tree their home to a whole host of bugs and bacteria that eat the tree and break it down into soil for new plants! Next time you see a dead log, take a close look and record your observations in your
Field Journal. You just might be amazed by what you see.
What You Do
#1. Find a rotting log: Look for a tree that has fallen and that has wood breaking apart in pieces. It may be slightly damp.
#2. Describe what the log looks like. What is growing on it? Can you see any mushrooms, ferns, mosses, or lichens? Are there baby trees or any other plants sprouting out of the wood?
#3. Do you see any insects? What are they doing? Look for tiny piles of sawdust at the base of the log. This is evidence that insects have drilled into the wood, starting the decomposition process. The holes left behind create highways for fungi and bacteria to come in and break down the wood even further.
#4. Tap the log with your fingers. Is it hollow? Wet? Bone-dry? What does it smell like?
#5. Put on your gloves and gently and carefully lift the log a few inches to see if you can take a peek underneath. What do you see? Are there insects underneath? What are they doing? What do they look like? When you’re done, put the log back.
#6. Use your magnifying glass to peek at the log itself. Do you see insects breaking it down? What do they look like under the magnifying glass? What about the plants growing on the tree? What do the mushrooms look like up close?
#7. Draw and describe what you’ve seen in your field journal. Try to identify plants, animals, and insects by looking at your field guide or Nature Anatomy book!
There is so much to learn! Head
outdoors and explore! 🙂