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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

How to Explore Nature with Your Children

It’s finally spring, and Little Critter is heading outside to explore! In Little Critter: Exploring the Outdoors, Little Critter and his classmates take a field trip into the woods to study their natural surroundings. The change of season can make it easier to get outside with your kids too, and a bit of fresh air can help keep everyone healthy, fit, and even improve behavior. Here are a few fun ways for you to explore nature with your children:

Grab a picnic blanket. Going outside doesn’t have to mean running around. If it’s a nice day, grab a blanket and head outdoors to relax! It may seem like impossibility with young kids, but you could pack a lunch or some snacks and a few activities. Bring a book about birds, and see if you can spy any. Or, try out a fun game that helps kids brush up on their knowledge of animal tracks, and then see if you can spot any nearby.

Read books about nature! Sometimes a change of scenery can provide a bit of incentive for young readers. In Little Critter: Exploring the Great Outdoors , Little Critter’s whole class goes for a hike in the woods. Little Critter chronicles the adventure and the mishaps in a way that beginning readers may be able to read aloud to you. One of the perks of reading outside is that it can offer an immediate, healthy reward. Kids can be masterful negotiators, so tactics like “let’s read a book, and then we’ll do something fun and active” can work wonders. Kids also have the benefit of running around and coming back to a home base for a bit of down time (and more stories!) when they’re tired out. You can find more great book ideas here.

Play a nature-themed game. There’s a ton to explore outdoors year round, but spring offers new life, so it’s the perfect time to go on a scavenger hunt and see what you can find. We suggest you come up with a list of popular springtime things ahead of time. If you or your child finds something interesting that’s not on the list, it’s an added bonus. Some ideas of things to look for are various kinds of bugs, buds on trees, flowers blooming, or a bird’s nest and eggs.

Go for a walk in the woods. Like Little Critter’s class, you could go a bit further afield and find a nature reserve or walk. Young children love to explore, so even a short nature walk that entails throwing rocks into a river or pond can provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment. Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray!

How do you explore nature with your children?