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When it comes to a child's learning, there is no better environment for them than being surrounded by nature outdoors. Nature is a captivating and ever-changing source of life. It offers the perfect space for curiosity to thrive. And when it comes to curiosity, I am definitely with Einstein, not the cat!

Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

There are lots of ways to provoke curiosity in young children. A great way to start is to ask children what they already know about a topic and challenge them to discover more. Let them hear you express curiosity by asking questions, which encourage them to do the same and lets their curious minds take the lead!

Here is a short poem about a busy bee that can serve as a starting point for a nature based, curiosity-driven activity for your little learners. 

"It started with a bee, it landed on a rose, we watched it gather sticky stuff, on its feet and toes!"

 

Busy Bee's Buzzing Activities

Activity 1

Find out what your children already know about bees. Use books or the internet to explore further. Specifically, discuss the striped patterns of some bees.

Bee book

 

Activity 2

Ask children to identify the differences between bees and other flying insects. Provide classifying activities where they sort insects into groups, such as flying and non-flying. You could use a tally chart to record the flying insects found in your garden. Repeat this count after planting wildflowers to see if it attracts more flying insects.

Bee and insect tally chart

 

Activity 3

Explore the inside of a beehive and examine the shape of a honeycomb. Ask children to investigate how hexagons fit together. You could also explore how other 2D shapes accomplish this.

What you’ll need

Honey and bees

After your activities, why not finish with a treat for the children and staff and share honey sandwiches as a picnic in the garden (you all deserve it, after all!) For more outdoor and nature based activity ideas for your tots, consider trying the Maths in Nature Activity Cards.

 

Enjoyed reading this blog? We've got loads more ideas and inspiration for early years teachers in our Little Learners magazine. This article has been taken from our latest issue. Click here to check it out.

Did you know you can also subscribe to receive all future issues of Little Learners for FREE? Click here to subscribe.

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Learn Well

Child development is at the heart of everything at Learn Well. Each product is thoughtfully created to give young children and older ones with special needs a broad range of sensory learning experiences. Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways; so Learn Well think about sight, sound, smell and touch as each product is in development.