Understanding the World

Activity - Bug hunt

Words to use with your child: Worm, woodlouse, snail, slug, spider, ant, legs, insect, slither, dark, damp, scurry, fast, slow, shell, hard, soft, soil, bury.

Go outside and see what living creatures you can find. Look under stones, logs and plant pots, near plants and flowers, in small cracks in the pavement and dark places.

Talk to you child about what they see and how it makes them feel. Encourage them to look carefully at what they find and begin to describe it.

  • Is it small or large?
  • Does it have legs?
  • How does it move?
  • Where does it live? Why?

If you child feels confident then encourage them to handle the insects, encouraging them to be kind and careful. You may feel more confident using a yoghurt pot to hold the insects in at first. If you have a magnifying glass then you can use this to see details more clearly. Have a look in a non-fiction (information) book to find out more about the insects or search the internet for interesting facts to see what you can learn.

Always replace any living things back into their natural habitat when you have finished observing them and then wash your hands.

Activity - Rock art

Words to use with your child: pebble, stack, shape, tall, short, tower, special, favourite, jagged, edges, sharp, smooth, rough

During a local walk this week we noticed some beautifully arranged pebbles. These were placed in a pattern by a local artist called James Brunt. James Brunt creates art from natural and found objects such as pebbles, leaves and seeds. His work is beautiful, why not google it together to get some inspiration? There is even some of his art in Rotherham. We decided to create our own pebble art. Here are ours:

Why not try your own? What makes the pebbles that you chose special and why? Be patient and take your time, sometimes art doesn’t turn out like you expected but often this is what makes art amazing.

Have fun and talk to you child about their choices, make your own at the same time, talking through what you’re doing and why you are choosing to do it a certain way. Look at the various patterns on the pebbles and why the make the pebble special to you.

Activity - Ice

Words to use with your child:  ice, water, hard, smooth, cold, freezing, icy, drip, melt, warmth, change, liquid, solid, wet, alter, reveal, how?

Help your child to really understand what new words mean by gathering natural materials in the garden or woods and then sorting them into pots as shown in photograph or make a big chart using garden chalks.  If you don’t want to pull things up set challenges like:

Making Ice - Find an empty container (margarine sized tub) and ask your child to put in a toy of their choice. Then cover the toy in water and talk about what the water is like (wet, liquid, moves easily, swooshes, sloshes…). Then place the container carefully in your freezer and leave overnight. Ask your child what they think might happen and why. The next day remove the container and look carefully together at what has happened. Ask questions about what they notice; What has happened to the water? Why? How do you think that happened? Where is your toy? What does it feel like? Investigate the ice together and discuss how it feels. As the ice begins to melt talk about what is happening.

You could then go outside and find some natural resources (leaves, flowers, pebbles…) and freeze them in ice. What happens if you place your ice outside?

Activity - Growing

Words to use with your child: Grow, seed, plant, water, soil, dig, dark, sunlight, change, germinate, alter, leaves, shoot, root.

If you are a keen gardener and have all the resources at home, plant some seeds (preferably beans) with the children. If not, use an empty food container e.g. yoghurt pot and soil from the garden and plant seeds from an apple, or tomato, or pips from an orange. You could even plant an old potato that’s started to sprout in a large pot or bucket.

Watch a real bean grow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w77zPAtVTuI