Each week I do environmental activities with primary school kids at my children's local school -it's called Junior Landcare - the classes rotate through the whole school and we have fun outdoors. This week was 2 composite classes of grade ones and twos. The younger kids are studying mini beasts so we themed the afternoon around bugs. We always start by sitting on our circle of wooden logs and having a chat.
First the kids shared some fascinating facts about bugs that they had learnt during the semester. Did you know a slug can slide over razor blades without getting hurt? or that most caterpillars have 16 legs? or that a spider is not a true insect? Often they teach me a thing or two.
I read the kids one of my favourite books - The Very Hungry Caterpillar - I told them they could finish the sentences as I knew it would be a book they knew well - a happy chorus of "but he was still hungry" was sung and by the end of the book they were reading it to me.
We then split into six small groups and did the following (you can click on the picture for the link):
- Earlier in the day I visited our local reservoir and gathered some aquatic macro-invertebrates. I had some small containers and the kids had a go at catching and identifying critters.
- Two groups made butterflies
- A group created ladybirds out of bottle caps to make a mobile.
- A group made a bughouse
- One group chopped fruit and put little holes in it just like the hungry caterpillar.
- A group made hungry caterpillar bookmarks by cutting up painted pieces of paper - just like Eric Carle does. the little one helped me paint them the day before.
- A group planted some freckle lettuces
At the end of the session there was show and tell, fruit to eat and a little time to run and be wild. More of the same for the little preppies next week. Great volunteer turn out helped make the afternoon a success - hope we get lots next week for the littlies.
You can see my Junior Landcare ideas on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/bowersnest/junior-landcare/. Love the way I can put them all together here.
There is a Junior Landcare watermelon challenge open to individuals, families and schools that you may like to enter. Anyone aged 16 and under and living in Australia can enter. Registered participants will receive free watermelon seeds in the mail in early October. Great way to get kids in the garden.