Forest Creatures

Support children’s excitement about the natural environment with forest creatures. Fine motor skills are enhanced with endless opportunities for imaginative and curious play!

Developmental Area

Artistic

Description

Nature

Age

Preschool

There is so much to discover in nature!

This activity allows children to explore the world around them, using their senses!

Materials

For this activity you will need:

  • Cones from trees such as Pine, Fir and Larch

  • Tree Seeds, Leaves, Straw, Bark or similar natural resources

  • Glue

  • Clay or play dough can be used to make the creatures stand firm

Learning Goals

With this activity you will learn the following skills:

  • Appreciation of Nature

  • Fine Motor: handling small materials to create details with natural materials helps developing fine motor skills

  • Language/Cognitive Development: when discussing the various materials, vocabulary and knowledge will be developed

  • Sensorial Stimulation: nature materials have very different structures than manufactured materials, which is a great experience for children to gain. Children can discuss visual and textural differences, as well as, the smell of each material

  • Freedom of expression: without expectations to meet any final result, children can express their imagination in creating any kind of creature and enjoy the process of learning.

Process Description

Step 1

An example of a Forest Creature can be shown to the children that motivates children to collect any type of natural resources available. Discussion about the names of the resources can be initiated

Step 2

The early learners can design creatures as they desire, but might need some support with using the glue. Using glue is optional

Step 3

While the early learners are working with the natural materials, the cone can be fixed with clay or play dough on the table or bark to prevent it from rolling (optional).

Step 4

This path should be freely accessible for children at all time and being used if possible without shoes.

Step 5

Give the children an opportunity to use and play with the clothing their own way. They may wish to sort the clothing by colour or style, or they may wish to try the items on!

Adaptation

A story can be created with the Forest People and re-enacted by the children as part of a drama activity. Individual Photographs can be taken of each creature and a story book can be created or an art display of children’s work may also be a good idea.

Reflective questions

Ask these questions during and after the learning opportunity for critical and self-reflection

  • Do I need support or training on a specific area? See CPD courses and videos for educators here.

  • What could have been better?

  • Did I give enough time for children to experiment and try out new things?

  • How can my technique facilitate positive relationships with all children?

  • How did this opportunity help me grow as a professional?

  • How did I scaffold children’s learning?

  • Could I have adapted the learning opportunity to reflect all children’s needs, abilities and interests

  • What additional resources could have enhanced children’s learning?

Looking and responding

Start by asking the children to describe what they see. Draw attention to details. What materials will need to make our forest people? What are their names, what type of materials do you see? How do the materials feel?

Author Bio

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Wendy Oke

CEO, TeachKloud

TeachKloud is a cloud-based management platform for early childhood educators and parents!

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