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Treasures in the yard-Part 2: Grass and rocks

Grass and rocks can easily be found in most yards or at your local playground. Here, I would like to suggest activities that will help little ones rediscover their daily environment. After all, it is full of potential.

 

Grass

  1. Grassy modeling dough: Prepare basic homemade modeling dough. Add cut (or torn) blades of grass or weeds. Children will enjoy mixing them into the modeling dough. Variation: Herb-filled modeling dough. If you grow herbs in your garden, pick the most aromatic herbs you have and add them to your homemade modeling dough. Mint, thyme, lemon, and basil are all interesting choices.
  2. Grass-filled soup: You will need a bowl, utensils, a small quantity of grass, leaves, water, and a little dirt. Let children pour the ingredients into a bowl and stir them together. They will have fun creating a variety of soups.
  3. Mow the lawn: If you don't have a toy lawn mower, a doll stroller can work just as well. Children love pretending to work like adults.
  4. A green collage: You will need a large piece of cardboard, white glue, and a variety of elements found in your yard or at the playground (grass, branches, pinecones, dry leaves, etc.). Apply white glue to the piece of cardboard liberally and let children press the items all over. Let dry.
  5. Discovering herbs: Do you have herbs growing in your garden? Plan an outdoor activity to give children the opportunity to smell, observe, and manipulate them. They may even be able to recognize the herbs the next time they are used to prepare a meal.
  6. Weeds: Invite children to help you pull weeds from your garden or flowerbeds. They will be glad to help and make interesting discoveries while they are at it.
  7. Fresh herbs, dried herbs: Set a handful of fresh herbs on a sunny table and observe them throughout the day (texture, color, shape, etc.). This will help children understand the difference between fresh herbs and dried herbs.

Rocks

  1. Rock dust modeling dough: Prepare basic homemade modeling dough. Add rock dust or a handful of tiny pebbles to the dough to create modeling dough with a fun texture. Children will enjoy manipulating it.
  2. From the smallest to the biggest: Go on a rock hunt in your yard or at your local playground. Which one is the smallest? The biggest? Place them in order, from smallest to biggest. Children will make interesting observations.
  3. Colourful rocks: Let children paint the rocks they find. Add glitter or varnish the rocks for a magical touch! If you wish, glue magnets behind the rocks. Children will love using them to hang memos on the refrigerator.
  4. Hopscotch: Rediscover this timeless game! Draw a hopscotch grid on asphalt or cement and give each child a rock he/she can toss on the playing surface.
  5. Rock wash: You will need a bucket filled with water and soap as well as several rocks. Children will love washing the rocks and watching them dry in the sun afterwards.
  6. Decorative rocks: Do you have large rocks in your flowerbeds? Let children draw on them using sidewalk chalk to add some color to your outdoor décor. Their additions will disappear with the next rainfall. Children will be eager to repeat this activity!

As you can see, there are many treasures just waiting to be explored in your yard, you just have to look around and think like a child!


Caroline Allard
Early childhood educator


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