Every child deserves good books: your vivacious-energetic preschooler.
Here’s the concluding part of this introductory series on how to use nature-themed picture books to present the natural world to young children, from the womb and beyond. This final part focuses on your preschooler, ending with some thoughts on nature and the family.
The boundless energy and imagination demonstrated by your preschooler as s/he learns about the natural world is a joy to watch unfold.
The acronym “Preschooler” is used to illustrate some ways that you can immerse your child in the natural world. Again, the use and success of these suggested activities will depend on your preschooler’s level of interest and development.
Prepare your own alphabet-type book of objects seen or heard in nature, using the letters in your preschooler’s name. For example, if your child’s name is Brian, on the first, or “B” page, these pictures could be included: blue jay, bumblebee, butterfly, blueberries on a blueberry bush, etc., until all the letters in your child’s name have been used.
Read through the picture book you and your preschooler prepared above and describe each object. Write down your preschooler’s comments.
Explore new outdoor habitats, i.e., nature spaces you haven’t visited before. Help your preschooler look for shapes in nature that remind you both of everyday objects.
Sing nature songs together, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or “Itsy, Bitsy Spider,” etc.
Create an indoor nature collection of favorite finds like rocks, sea shells, sea glass, etc. Store these in a special decorative container in your child’s room or some other agreed upon place.
Help your preschooler complete a nature-themed puzzle about one of his/her favorite animals. Talk through this activity.
Offer something special to do with your preschooler that s/he can choose from, like camping in the backyard under the stars, or hanging a bird feeder to attract different kinds of birds; Or ask your preschooler for ideas of what s/he’d like to do.
Observe the stars in the night sky or search for cloud pictures in the blue sky.
Listen to the sounds of nature together, like the rain, bird songs, crickets in the night. For instance, if listening to birds, try identifying the bird that makes a specific sound.
Engage your preschooler in a nature-themed matching or concentration card game.
Respond to your preschooler’s nature questions by searching out picture books on the topic of interest; Or researching online for the answers, to learn together.
Nature and Your Family
Nature’s adventures and lessons are unlimited.
One small, but beautiful way that your family can experience nature is by learning about butterflies.
Butterflies: Nature’s Delicate Animated Flowers
During these uncertain times, nature-themed books, like the Butterfly Book can nurture family togetherness, as well as support preschool learning.
Bring the outside in and spark your child’s imagination as you introduce him or her to the world of butterflies through the pages of the picture book below.
If you share my passion to make nature-themed picture books available to young children whose families may be unable to access them, and are willing to support or sponsor such a project, please leave a comment or connect with me here: email@example.com.
Thank you for spending time with me today. Nature speaks to us all. Enjoy the abundance that nature offers, with family and friends!