Nature provides our children with so many wonderful learning opportunities. Noah, my earthy boy, is having so much fun lately playing with nature (sticks, rocks, dirt, etc), so I decided to start doing some learning activities using natural materials with him. Below are three activities we have been doing using dried beans and pebbles.
A fun activity for toddlers using sand, dirt, rice or dried beans:
Provide your child with a big container of sand, dirt, rice or dried beans and let him or her free explore. Then show him or her several different items used for scooping (spoons, measuring cups, measuring spoons, shells, etc) and allow him or her to scoop away. You might need to model how to do this with your child. *Please supervise your child during this activity to make sure he or she does not eat any of the items.
Another activity for toddlers using pebbles:
Collect some pebbles (I used medium-sized river stones) and put them in a container for your child. Have your child free explore with the pebbles. My 15 month old had so much fun looking, touching, tossing and stirring them with a spoon.
An extension activity for Pebble Play: I like to call it "Pebble Eggs":)
Get an empty egg carton and fill it with 12 pebbles. Allow your toddler/preschooler to shake, sort and count their "pebble eggs".
Have fun learning and playing!