Sunday, January 17, 2016

Get Outside and Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt (Free Printable)

Studies continue to show the tremendous benefits of being outside:
*Boost in Immune System
*Reduction Hyperactivity
*Increases Attention and Retention
*Improves Academic Performance
*Supports Creativity, Problem solving
*Promotes Cooperation (great way to encourage siblings to get along)
*Integrates the Senses

I see firsthand how getting outside has benefited our own family.  As we were hiking this past week near a creek our oldest daughter, who has a tendency to be anxious and unable to focus, remarked, "This is my happy place.  It's so relaxing!".

 Sitting quietly, listening, and distinguishing between various outdoor sounds has helped our five year old overcome some of her struggles with sensory and auditory processing.  Our son with speech delays comes out with new words and more organized phrases after every hike.  Since we have started intentionally spending more time outside and hiking, I have also noticed a decrease in stress levels and a boost in our immune systems. 

A fun way to get outside, explore, and learn is with a Nature Scavenger Hunt.  You can do these over and over again, as each adventure is new, exciting, and different.  A Scavenger Hunt is designed to help your child explore his or her surroundings using various senses.  You can download our FREE Look, Listen, and Feel Scavenger Hunt.  Students may want to snap picture of their finds or draw them in a nature journal.  

Often times our scavenger hunts lead to lots of excitement over one really neat find.  I love to build on opportunities to build more on that.  Recently we found a deer skull in the woods.  That lead to an afternoon of researching together what deer eat, why it was a good habitat for deer to live in, and what animals eat deer.  This lead to a whole other lesson of food chains.  

Days like this make homeschooling so delightful.  Schedule time to take advantage of the many benefits of "unstructured" learning outdoors.

Don't forget to grab your FREE DOWNLOAD!  

Caldera Chicken Curry