Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kid Forest Adventure

I have started babysitting again.  You should begin to see more kid activities and family fun adventures.  I let each of the children pick a topic to explore over the next few weeks.  The first chosen topic was Forests.  Since I cannot fit all of these children into my car we had to make do with the closest thing we had to a forest...a cluster of trees.
For this activity we began our adventure right after lunch...so we had our treats first.  I was feeling a bit desperate this morning considering that I did not have anything planned for the treat and forgot to pick something up at the store.  Luckily my brain came up with something!  I molded trees out of fresh No-Bake cookies.  Then, I scattered dyed coconut* on top of each tree to mimic leaves (*drop green food coloring and coconut into a plastic bag and shake).  My other half told me to make the cookies as you normally would and tell the children that it's forest fertilizer (animal droppings).  He is sooo funny!

After our plate of happiness we learned about forests from a book I own.  You could Google information if you do not own such a book.  Next, I took the children outside to examine the trees.  First, I had each of the kid's guess how big around a specific tree was, using yarn.  They were not allowed to test it out.  The winner was only off by 3 inches!  We then measured the circumference of a tree 3 feet up from the base.  Supposedly this is one way to determine the age of a tree without looking at a cross section.  Every inch equates to one year of life.  

Next, I gave each child a piece of paper and chalk and had them color over bark on the paper to get a bark impression. You could use play dough if you want a more accurate impression! Brown play dough would be fun!

By this point I needed a break.  So we laid on the grass and looked up at the trees as each child got to tell a "tree" story.  They loved this!  So did I :).  No, I did not fall asleep...but I was close.

To end the excitement we wrapped yarn around one of the children and dressed her up like a tree using items from our make-shift forest...and someone's stuffed monkey.  This activity generated oodles of giggles!

1 comment:

Steve and Katie said...

You are so creative!!! It looks like so much fun!