Big Backyard: Kindergarten Nature Walks Overview
Kindergarten walks are based on:
1. Environmental Awareness
- Sensory exploration/ Sense of wonder
- Discover/ Joy of learning
- Sharing the excitement
- Experiencing nature’s rhythms and cycles
2. Developing attitudes of respect toward
- The environment
- Each other
- Themselves as learners
3. Learning through observing and sharing
- Look, listen, smell, and touch to explore their schoolyard
- Observe and share observations of seasonal changes
- Make comparisons, note similarities and differences
- Identify plant parts and observe how plants change with the seasons
- Distinguish between living and non-living things
- Make connections between their lives and the world around them
A major challenge is helping young children learn how to behave on a Nature Walk, how to focus, observe, wonder, and thereby enjoy exploring, discovering, learning and sharing.
Remember your main goal is that children enjoy discovering and learning from their own observations, not specific science content. Be willing to:
- Follow children’s interests and the unexpected discovery.
- Focus on one or two concepts/activities.
- Don’t stay out too long.
- Be enthusiastic and have fun.
- Communicate with the teacher.
Walks usually last 30 minutes, but go in early if children lose focus. Groups should be no larger than six children.