Articles Comments

Naturally Educational » Ecology

The Whale Watch that Wasn’t

The Whale Watch that Wasn’t

My husband, who grew up here on Long Island, enjoying voyages on the small wooden boat his grandfather built, turned to me two weeks ago and said, “I want us to get out on the water more often this summer”.  A few minutes and some clicks later on his computer, he declared, “I’m booking us on a whale watch trip for July 24.” Perfect, I thought, visions filling my head of educational sidenotes about cetaceans (whales … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Water Fun Week 5 of #SmartSummer

Water Fun Week 5 of #SmartSummer

Kismet. Sometimes it seems like things are just meant to happen.  My husband booked us a whale watching trip for the Sunday before the Water Fun week of the Smart Summer Challenge begins!  I can’t wait to share what we learned with you. We have a membership at the aquarium and it is a great way to beat the summer heat AND the summer slide at the same time. And since we live on an island, … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Ecology, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Forest-Friendly Week 4 Linky

Forest-Friendly Week 4 Linky

Show us how you’re having a Smart Summer! The prize this week (Forest-Friendly Week) is from a great company in the education space, for which I’ve had the privilege of blogging for the last two years: LeapFrog. I had highlighted posts from the previous week’s linky to but for clarity’s sake, I’ve moved the round-ups to their own posts: Me on the Map Round-Up Government, Patriotism, and Currency Round-Up Backyard Science Round-Up We’d love for you to share your ideas–you … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ecology, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Rainbow Scavenger Hunt Hike in the Woods

Rainbow Scavenger Hunt Hike in the Woods

Can you find all the colors of the rainbow in the woods? We go on hikes and nature walks almost every weekend and love to find ways to keep things fresh for the kids. A themed scavenger hunt can turn your walk in the forest into a learning adventure. With younger kids, you can begin by looking for a rainbow. Red Trail Marker Red Fire Thorn Berries Orange Mushrooms Orange Lilies Yellow Black-Eyed Susans (plus Violet Cone Flowers) All the greenery that … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Sight, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Woodland Animal Masks

Woodland Animal Masks

Masks are fun way for children to explore and move and act in different ways.  For our Forest-Friendly Week of the Smart Summer Challenge, we made Woodland Animal Masks. Some of the things I like about this craft is that it gives them control over the process, encourages them to be observant, and also serves as a fun prop to continue the activity. I’m chatting more about crafts over at the Random House Kids: Read … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, Performing Arts and Theater, Smart Summer Challenge

#SmartSummer Forest-Friendly Week 4

#SmartSummer Forest-Friendly Week 4

Did I say I was excited for Backyard Science week?  Well, I am EVEN MORE EXCITED to share activities for Forest-Friendly week of the Smart Summer Challenge*! I spent many childhood days, walking through the woods behind the house and climbing trees and I love sharing that with my children. When the weather is good, we usually take nature walks 1-3 times a week. We learn so much on everyone of our walks, whether it is observing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ecology, Smart Summer Challenge

Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

After we released our butterfly friends it just seemed like there was something missing from our home. So, we made one of our favorite crafts: coffee filter butterflies.  This is such a simple little craft and the children love both the process and the results! (I’ve joked that my next book should be titled, “101 Crafts with Coffee Filters,” because I love this strong, versatile material!) Materials: two coffee filters markers (including dried-out markers that you were about to … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Summer

The Butterfly Life Cycle

The Butterfly Life Cycle

We’ve visited our local vivarium and are fascinated by butterflies.  To get a closer look at the butterfly life cycle, we ordered the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden from Amazon and then went onto Insect Lore’s site to order the caterpillars (an extra $5 handling fee). The kids were thrilled to open the package and check out our five little larvae (i.e.: caterpillars). Our tiny caterpillars got bigger and fatter–just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And they spun … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Summer

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Flowers are such a lovely part of spring and summer. We’ve planted, pressed, dissected, drawn, and studied these beautiful blossoms and are ready, soon, to move onto pollinators. To enrich our knowledge base of flower types, we borrowed some alphabet books featuring flowers. Flower Alphabet Picture Books The Flower Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books): We own a number of Pallotta’s alphabet books and this one does not disappoint. The marginalia illustrate interesting facts about each … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), Ecology, Featured, Literacy, Smart Summer Challenge, Spring, Summer

F is for Flowers

F is for Flowers

Earlier in the spring, we learned about rain and the water cycle and about the plant life cycle.  Then, once our flowers bloomed, we explored our garden. We dissected flowers, pressed flowers, made daffodil flower crafts out of cardboard toilet paper tubes, and we also practiced writing using flower petals. As with most of our “letter of the week” crafts, I modify it to include writing the whole word for my daughter, who is in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Literacy, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Smell, Spring, Summer, Taste