Tag Archives: explore

A-Maizing Corn

corn3

First the Picture: Can you locate on a map where corn is grown in the United States?  Can you name all of the different types of corn that is grown? From feed corn, to sweet corn to a corn that you snack on in movies! Corn is the #1 crop grown in America.

corn

Second the Questions: Did you know that corn is called maize in many other countries and was called that by the culture native to the Americans. What is your favorite way to eat corn? Do you know who..or what eats the most corn here in America? (Hint it isn’t humans!) Did you know that an ear of corn is actually part of the flower of the plant and each kernel is a seed?  Can you guess how many average kernels there are on each ear? (800) Corn will always have an even number of kernels on each row. Corn is native to our country..do you know what that means?

corn2

Third Next Steps: Corn makes a wonderful sensory experience for kids of all ages.  Find a place that sells dried cobs meant to put out for squirrels and deer to nibble on.  Then put a few in a large Tupperware tub.  You will be amazed by how relaxing it is to pick the kernels off of the cob.  It is fun to count the kernels and investigate the structure of the cob as you work.  Once your cobs are clean and your tub is full..add some funnels, scoops and small bins. Scooping, measuring and weighing the corn as you run it through your fingers. It is a fun sensory experience.  You can even try adding toy tractors into your bin and drive them through the mounds..pretending to harvest your crop!  Once you have spend days enjoying your sensory bin..bring your bin of corn to a nature area and spread out your kernels for your animals friends to enjoy!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun..try one of our books: https://www.createspace.com/6092513

 

Perpetual Springtime

SONY DSC

First The Photo:    What is a Conservatory?  Do you know what city houses this particular conservatory?  Do you have a conservatory close to your home? If not can you find a greenhouse or a floral market close to home?  All of these house flowers to smell and growing plants that help us to jump start springtime.

 

SONY DSC

Second the Question: Do you miss green plants and blooming flowers?  Are you getting tired of the long winter?  There are places that have flowers year round. Places that helpus to create the hope of spring in the midst of a snow covered or muddy late winter.  Would you like to fast forward to springtime?  Or do you just want a brief change of pace? Conservatories are a feast for the senses with warm humid air, heavy with a multitude of different scents.  Beautiful flowers to see and unique, often exotic plants to enjoy.

Third Next Steps:  Take an afternoon out of your week and hunt down some blooming flowers.  Whether you find them at a local conservatory or you just take a field trip to a flower market.  Spend some time learning the different plants and smelling the various flowers.  Bring a camera and capture some close up photos of the blooms.  Plants can make great subjects for young photographers, as they tend to sit still and look great in most snapshots.  The key is; to get close and personal.  Try to take some pictures of single blooms.  Capture the center structure of a flower.  Many flowers are beautiful, but a single blooms can often be truly breathtaking.

SONY DSC

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Tweet Friends

IMG_0516

First The Picture:  What do you know about birds?  Do you know what type of bird this is? Can you tell if it is a boy or a girl? What things help us to know the gender of a bird?  What types of things do birds eat?  Do you put out food for the birds?

Second The Question:   Some birds stay throughout the year and some birds migrate in and out of areas seasonally.  As the winter months change to spring your bird population will change. This is a wonderful time to pay attention to birds outside and begin to notice your unique local bird population.   Can you list the different types of birds that are in your area? Try to find images of the birds, both male and female on the computer or at the library.   What is different between boy and girl birds?  Why do you think they look so different?

birdw

Third Next Steps:  Birds are amazing colorful, sweet sounding creatures.  They add so much beauty to our world.  Spend some time walking outside or watching out a window and see how many different types of birds you can find.  Go for a hike in a park or at a nature center, bring along a pair of binoculars and spot as many different birds as you can. Spend some time sitting quietly and listen to the different calls that birds make.  Visit you-tube and pull up videos of different birds.  Another fun thing on-line is: the National Eagle Center has a webcam on their eagle’s nest where you can tune in and watch as they build their nest, lay their eggs and hatch out some eaglets. Click Here  One of the most amazing things to do in the spring is to attend a bird banding.  Look for nature centers, or regional parks in your area.  Go to their website and look at their educational programming options.  Many have bird banding sessions in the spring and they love to have help.  It is usually free for you to attend.  The experience is unforgettable.  They actually gently catch birds in nets and then have volunteers hold the birds and place a band on their leg. Children can help with the guidance of an adult.  It is awe inspiring for little ones to see a songbird up close and get a chance to feel their soft feathers.  A truly memorable way to interact with our amazing bird population and a great way to kick off the spring!

 Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

If you could be an animal for a day

dolphin

First:  This picture could be taken in many places..a zoo, a marine park, or a nature habitat.  There are many opportunities to see dolphins up close.  Look on a map and find the places that house dolphins for observation.

Second: If you could be an animal for a single day, which animal would you be?  What qualities attracted you to the species you chose? Do you want to swim, run, walk, fly, or crawl?  Did you consider what the animals ate or where they lived?

Third: Take Next Step: This is the subject of my first Explore Galore Kids Book, available here on this blog under the “Make it Your Own” link.  You can also find it on Amazon. It is an adventure book, where you provide the adventure from your own imagination. Thinking through the choices as you consider which animal you would be.

Want to add to the imaginative fun? Go on a nature hike at a local park, or nature center.  Look for animal tracks.  Spy potential animal homes.  Think about the different species around you, from bugs and spiders to reptile and mammals.  Talk about the different classifications of animals.  What make s spider a spider?  What makes a mammal different from reptiles?  Don’t know?  That is ok..Take the next step and look it up.  Do you know what animals are native to your climate?  What does it mean to be native?

Name another type of climate..Can you guess what type of animals would live there?  Why?

Explore More: Finally a fun Next Step is bringing along your camera or phone and trying to take pictures of animals in the wild.  The trick is:  hold your camera very still because animals often are camera shy and try to run away.

Enjoy your adventure!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Summer time is family time

 

 

Remember the steps of the post..

  • First The Photo:  Where do you think this was taken?  Can you find it on a map?  If you think you know the answer share it back..This one should be pretty easy if you look for landmarks
  • Second The Questions:  Start the discussion:
    • What is your favorite landscape?
      • Do you like rolling hills?
      • The flat Midwestern farm land?
      • Jagged peaks?
      • Or seaside?
    • Start a mini vacation in your mind by imagining your most relaxing landscape..
  • Third Next Steps:
    • Easy one: Go out for a walk together and point out the things that you like in your favorite landscape.  Use the word and help your kids to understand what a landscape is.  Point out favorite vistas!
    • Fun at Home:  Head home after your walk and pull out the dough..make your own and use pre-purchased.  Challenge each other to make your favorite thing in a landscape and see if you can guess what the other person made.  Is it a tree, a lake, a hill, a cliff.. This is a fun way to add in some basic fine motor skills, with a purpose.  Plus this is something kids of almost any age or ability can do.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/