Tip 127: April 2019 – Earth Day – April 22nd
Website Educational Tips for Cognitive Development
Michael Chinery in his book The Complete Amateur Naturalist stated that “Nature is the
ultimate teacher… Wherever you live, be it in the middle of a city or deep
in the country, you will always be within easy reach of nature:” He goes on
to say “We are a part of nature, and we depend upon the other components of
the natural system for our very existence.” Encourage children to explore
nature. Each season brings with it new opportunities to explore nature in a
unique way. Give children time and encouragement to observe before they
plunge into the activity.
Web-of-Life Nature Walk
– Because nothing in nature lives alone, all plants and animals in a given
area are connected. Caregivers should try to take infants on nature walks
often and point out all the plants (trees and flowers), animals (birds and
squirrels -take some seeds and nuts to feed them) and insects (butterflies
and bees) in nature.
Egg Shell Face/Hair
– Draw a face on an empty egg shell with a permanent marker. Fill the shell
with potting soil and sprinkle grass seeds on top. Mist the seeds with
water from a spray bottle. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Wait for the
grass to grow and cut it with a scissor if it gets too long.
Red Cabbage Experiment
– This experiment will help children understand that chemical reactions can
produce color changes. Red cabbage juice contains a chemical called an
“indicator,” which causes it to turn a different color when it is mixed
with acids like vinegar or lemon juice (green), or baseslike liquid soap (red) and baking soda (pink).
Generally basesare bitter and tart, while acidsare sour. Begin by boiling one cup of chopped red
cabbage in three cups of water until the cabbage has lost its color and the
water is purple. Pour the purple cabbage juice into a pitcher and have a
number of yogurt, apple sauce, or margarine plastic containers available on
a table. Also include containers of acids(vinegar/lemon
juice) and bases(baking soda/liquid soap). Have the
children pour some cabbage juice in a container and use a plastic teaspoon
to mix vinegar or lemon juice in one, and another teaspoon to mix liquid
soap in one, and another teaspoon to mix baking soda in the last container.
Discuss what is happening to the color of the cabbage juice as they add the acids or basesto it.
Moira Green in her book 474 Science Activities for Young Children believes that
these kinds of science activities are fun for young children because it
makes use of everyday kitchen items to teach scientific principle. She
states that “…some educators feel uncomfortable about using food for
learning experiences, given that hunger and starvation are rampant around
the world. On the other hand, many teachers are reluctant to omit food as a
material…because of the unique tactile experience it offers and how much
children enjoy it.”
In every touch, be it soft or rough or hard or smooth, our bodies in
their every part are receivers of information – and nature is always
the sender. (Roger Caras)