Monday, July 9, 2012

Nature Soup

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.”    -David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia
This is a simple but rich activity for your child.  Simply head outside, offer a bucket or cooking pot filled with water, and suggest that he make some soup.  If your child is old enough, a pair of scissors can be helpful for cutting plants.  A spoon or ladle and some small bowls for serving will add to the dramatic play.  

When I have done this with my son, he becomes very inward and focused.  I try not to interfere in his process other than to make occasional observations.  "I see some clover over there.  I wonder if that would be good in the soup," or "Wow, you found four different types of grass seed."  Mostly, though, he just wants me to delight in the exquisite taste of his masterpiece when it is finished.  

Work with your child to create a recipe.  On a large sheet of paper, glue one of each of the items that your child puts in the soup.  Write the number of the quantity your child decides the soup needs next to each item.  

Or, as Childhood 101 suggests, offer scavenger hunt challenges: 
Can you find something small and yellow?  Something prickly?  etc.

What are we learning?
Connection with Nature, Dramatic Play, Language and Literacy (names of nature items, recipe writing), Early Math (recipe writing), Problem Solving (scavenger hunt), Fine Motor Skills (using scissors, serving with a ladle)


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