I like to try to include nature in the process of learning. It’s a great excuse to get the children outside and I genuinely feel they retain more information when they learn out of doors.
Measuring with a Ruler
I brought out a ruler from the drawer and took it on our bush walk one day. Such a simple little grab ended up bringing a whole hour of learning and fun together. As soon as I put the ruler in her hand (and explained about centimetres and millimetres) she was off measuring everything in sight.
Trees were measured.
Leaves were measured.
Even rocks were measured!
She even tried to measure an ant (although I missed that photo opportunity).
After letting her get used to the instrument and giving her plenty of time to play with it, we sat down with a little more structured activity. We collected sticks and leaves and by measuring them we sorted them longest to shortest. She was really focused in this activity too.
Measuring with Kitchen Scales
On the next bush walk, I took the cooking scales out with us and off we went again but this time we measured the weight of nature objects and compared them.
Measuring with Measuring Tape
Next, I grabbed the measuring tape from my sewing box and she learnt the basics of circumference.
Don’t have a measuring tape, but have a few children on hand? Measure the circumference of the tree using children instead.
So, on your next bush walk. Grab a ruler, scale or some measuring tape and let your child go for it. You’ll be surprised how much they love it.
More ways to measure nature
- After measuring the length of items, ask your child if they can measure the object in another way (width)
- Leaf Shape Play
- Learning numbers using natural materials
- If you’ve got an older child you can estimate the height of a tree
- You can also measure slow-moving animals like snails, ants and worms
- Measure the sun with a sun dial
- Measure the length of animal footprints by making an Animal Track Plot