As summer approached, I wanted to offer something constructive for my preschooler to do with his boundless energy.
To get some ideas, I went to the Resources for Early Childhood website and found “A Garden Plot: The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
First we took a trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and saw this European Rabbit in the Australian section. We even watched one bound across the stage during an Australian animal show! We learned that in Australia, rabbits are actually a pest because they reproduce so quickly.
After meeting a real rabbit, we read about pretend rabbits, including The Velveteen Rabbit and Bunny’s Garden. After we read The Velveteen Rabbit, my son searched the house to find all his stuffed rabbits & insisted on taking them on vacation with us.
Outside in the garden we’ve been attempted to grow mixed lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, and broccoli. We’ve read several books on growing plants including Planting a Rainbow and Pumpkin Pumpkin. Just last night as we were weeding, my son said “I am going to give this plant water so it grows big, big, BIG!” And he filled up his bucket and watered the tomato plant, then lovingly carressed the yellow fruit.
We look forward to our rabbit feast at harvest time, and reviewing what we’ve learned about rabbits over the summer.
Resources for Early Childhood has a wealth of great ideas for anyone who loves a young child. I especially recommend their tips and videos about The Project Approach for Preschoolers:
Intel Education also offers free self-paced professional development on project-based approaches. You can also order a free DVD to do the course without an internet connection. Project-based learning is a great way to keep human beings of all ages engaged, successful, and to teach the principles of scientific inquiry in action.
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