7 Adventures Close to Home
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The house is a mess, the clean laundry is on the floor and you’re currently negotiating with a toddler to drop that permanent marker. Sound familiar? Then you are probably an amazing parent! But if the house is chaos and you are looking for exciting (and easy) things to do, try exploring your own neighborhood.
Why is it important for children to learn about their world, and their place in it? By educating children about their environment, you are helping them improve their observing and investigating abilities. Children will learn how to ask questions, hypothesize, experiment, and assess situations with a more adventurous mindset. By nurturing their curiosity, you are positively impacting their growth and wellbeing. We hope these seven children’s crafts and activities inspire your child to become a curious little explorer.
Read engaging books.
Children’s books open a child’s imagination to new worlds and ideas! Plan a cozy storytime where you can explore from the comfort of your bed. Personalized books are especially engaging because they feature the child’s name throughout the story. In a book like My Big Little World, your child is the hero of the story and learns about their place in the world! As they explore their home, neighborhood, city, country, planet and universe, they discover how unique they really are.
Personalized books engage a child’s mind and curiosity to help them grow. A book like 1-2-3 Blast Off with Me teaches children about letters, numbers, shapes and colors. My U.S.A. Road Trip takes the child on an adventure to explore all fifty states! Pick a new or favorite book to help your child learn and grow.
Enjoy a nature scavenger hunt.
Nurture your child’s curiosity by exploring the natural world! Make a list of objects to find, and hunt for them while you take a walk around your neighborhood or park. Look for different types of leaves, rocks, mushrooms, spider webs, flowers and birds. You can sketch them in a notebook and press the leaves and flowers among the pages to preserve your findings! The world is beautiful and waiting to be explored!
Get crafty with a kids’ geography activity.
This children’s craft helps teach your child about their place in the world! For this activity you’ll need:
- Construction paper in different colors
- Crayons or markers
- Mixing bowls in various sizes
- White paper plate
- First, you’ll need to cut 6 paper circles in different sizes and colors. Make sure the largest circle is on white paper. Trace your mixing bowls on different pieces of colored paper and cut out the 6 circles.
- Label each circle at the bottom from smallest to largest with these labels: My House, My City, My State, My Country, My Continent, My Planet.
- Color a picture on each circle. For example, your child can draw their house for “My House.” They can color a scene to represent their city, trace an outline of their state, and so on. For the last white circle, color it in to represent our planet Earth.
- Punch a hole at the top of each circle. Use a paper fastener to assemble the circles, biggest on the bottom and smallest on top.
This activity is a great learning tool to use as children explore their world, from their own backyards to the vast expanse of the universe!
Go star gazing.
Take your child out at night to look at the stars. Teach them about constellations and let them use a star chart to find them. If you have a telescope, examine the moon more closely—look at the craters and seas that texture the lunar surface. This children’s activity is a perfect way to illustrate how vast and amazing our world is!
Discuss different cultures.
Teach children about different cultures, languages and customs. We love this idea: pick a country and theme your day around it! Learn about the country’s language and customs. Use your computer or phone to listen to the language and try learning a couple phrases like “thank you” or “excuse me.” Make a popular recipe from that country and encourage your child to try new foods. It’s a great big world and there are so many cultures to explore!
Build your neighborhood.
One fun geography craft for kids is making paper houses to recreate your neighborhood. For this activity you’ll need:
- Brown paper lunch bags
- Construction paper
- Have the child design houses from brown paper bags. Fold the top of the bag over and glue it in place. Cut out windows and a door from construction paper and glue to the front of the bag. Decorate a house to represent each one in your neighborhood or select a few next to you.
- Position the houses based on their real location.
- Make roads from construction paper and place them in front of the houses.
Use these paper houses to help the child learn about their street name, house number, and neighborhood!
Draw a map of your city.
Have the child color a map of their city, featuring daily routes or favorite places around town. This creative coloring activity helps them map out their routine and understand their environment better.