“ A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature”- Maria Montessori.
Exploration is one among several human tendencies that children are born with. This tendency is the curiosity leading to discovery.
Children are natural explorers. They are curious and love to use their senses to explore. Children look, touch, listen and observe everything that is happening around them. For a child, everything is new—even the tiniest things are interesting and exciting.
In our outdoor programme, one of the children’s favourite activities is exploring the garden with a magnifying glass. Children are amazed with how things look much bigger through the magnifying glass.
Another one of children on-going interests is bugs. The children cannot get enough of bugs! With the magnifying glass, we have had a great time learning about different types of bugs that live in our gardens and the children have been going around the garden looking for any creepy crawlies, insects eggs, or just to watch the holes in the leaves that have gotten eaten by the caterpillars.
Throughout the terms, the children have found different insects from the garden including caterpillars, ladybugs, centipedes, millipedes, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and beetles to name a few.
When we find a dead insect, we add it to our insect tray for all the children to observe. They also love to look into the insect book to try to identify them.
Much of the fun of bug hunting (aside from looking for the bugs of course) is learning more about the bugs you find. While younger children will be happy just to look closely at what they find and some children create art projects inspired by the insects, the older children will be interested in learning more. They come up with questions:
- Where did you find the insect?
- Where does it live?
- What colour is it?
- How many legs does he have?
- How does it move?
- Does it have wings?
- How many legs does it have?
- What do you think he ate?
This will be a great experience as an early introduction and preparation for research.
The magnifying glass is a great activity for the children to learn to observe quietly and respectfully appreciate the beauty of nature.