Sometime between the morning nap and afternoon lull comes a sensory nature hunt.
Late morning has me (and the boys) yearning to get outside. It is before the extreme heat in the spring and perfect timing in the fall. This sensory nature hunt is exactly what you need when you have kids at home all year.
Why? Because nature is constantly changing. – which means no two (or 30) outdoor sensory hunts will be the same. Brilliant.
RELATED: Add sensory play to your daily routine with these 40 sensory bin ideas.
Are we stopping to smell the roses as we race to the car for soccer practice? Probably not.
Somewhere between tying cleats on chubby feet and grabbing car keys, we forget to slow down. I get it.
Fortunatly, just like mystery leaf rubbings, sensory nature hunt helps everyone take a closer look at what’s happening right in our own space. When I saw this idea from Tara at Little Pine Learners, I knew it would be a home run.
If you live in the city, you can still make this easy nature sticky board and try it with items in your home or on a walk. There are endless possibilities.
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Why is outdoor sensory play important?
We learned from The Importance of Sensory Play that introducing and reviewing textures is a crucial component of deep learning.
We also know that children are researchers of their environment.
Heading outdoor for sensory play stimulates so much more than one sense.
Outside, kids take in the sights and smell and listen as they learn. Think of all that magic happening with one simple idea!
This sensory activity is basically a walking art project
As my preschoolers roamed the front yard, I quickly realized this was more than me just getting a chance to catch my breath. Just like water play and jello washing (yes, that is a thing), this activity won an abundance of awards.
As the boys collected, they also studied the little details within the hydrangea, talked about how different trees felt, and carefully added nature to create a beautiful collage.
You guessed it. When they completed their sensory hunt, they proudly hung the boards on their bedroom walls.
RELATED: Overwhelmed how to set up a sensory bin? I wrote this how-to guide for sensory play to help.
Do you feel me gushing about this simple activity here? Because this outdoor sensory nature hunt is the bomb. (people still say that, right?)
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- contact paper
QUICK TIP! Before your contact paper arrives in your Amazon cart, start with the outdoor color hunt. This is another easy activity that will get everyone outside and searching.
How to set up nature sensory boards.
- Find a piece of cardboard. Diving into the recycling board is allowed and encouraged.
- Roll out contact paper with the sticky side up.
- Tape the nonstick side of contact paper to the back of the cardboard nature board.
- Invite your child to take a tour and find items to stick on the nature collage.