Review: January 2012 California Bookwatch - January 1, 2012
CELEBRATE NATURE! ACTIVITIES FOR EVERY SEASON comes packed with hands-on activities to help kids connect with nature and is a pick for elementary school educators and childcare providers alike. It's divided by season and introduces seven themes with an eye to helping teachers integrate nature into classroom studies. All the disciplines are supported, from math to reading and language skills, in this collection of school and at-home activities revolving around nature.
Review by: Shirley, A Mom After God's Own Heart - August 3, 2011
During the warmer months, I really enjoy being outdoors. Especially now, in the summer. However, I am not one to purposely sit in the sun and tan though, there has to be a reason for me to be outdoors. I love taking my girls to check out different parks, play in the yard, hang out with friends and family having BBQ's and all the other fun things summer outdoor time brings.
With my family child care program, I especially love summer because the children get so incredibly inventive with their play. But also, we can do almost all the indoor activities and take them outside!
Being in Canada, there are far more cooler months than warmer, it seems and so it can sometimes be more difficult to find ideas and activities to use for outdoor education with young children. That is until now.
I recently had the opportunity to review Celebrate Nature!: Activities For Every Season, from Redleaf Press and I am so impressed.
I have been pouring over this book the last few days that I have had it, and the activities are phenomonal! Of course, being the summer season, I went right to that section which covers the following themes:
1. Summer's Insects
2. Ready For The Sun
3. Summer's Grass
4. Relaxing With The Sand
5. Busy Honeybees
6. Picnic Ants
7. Bloomin' Flowers
Don't these themes sound amazing, and they are the perfect ones to expand for child-directed learning (or Emergent Curriculum), which is how I love to run my programs. Each theme includes activities covering a variety of learning areas like science, math, drama, blocks and music (each has a few new songs based on the theme). There are great pictures throughout the book, although I wish they were full color versus black and white.
Here is one activity I used yesterday with my children and they LOVED it! It was so much fun to see the role playing and imagination play that occured:
***Hang a handmade cardboard yellow sun in the dramatic play center to set the tone. Provide some fold-up lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach bags and towels, and a basket of sunglasses with some fun magazines and good books. Include an empty bottle of SPF sun lotion for the children to pretend to use. Show the children how to sit back and take it easy under the beach umbrella. They can relax and enjoy some recreational reading time in the sun*** (p. 197)
While I used this as a dramatic play area outside, it would be so much fun inside too, especially on a rainy day!
Each season is loaded with a ton of activities and Celebrate Nature! would be a fantastic addition to any Early Childhood Education, Early Elementary Classroom, Family Child Care Program and Homeschool Program.
This is a book is one that I highly recommend and give a huge thumbs up to!
Review by: Pamela Calkins, First Grade Teacher - August 3, 2011
Celebrate Nature! is a thoroughly enchanting resource. Angela Schmidt Fishbaugh's book demonstrates how curiosity, fascination, delight, and respect are cultivated and nourished in impressionable young children. This season-by-season guide helps you incorporate nature's balance and lessons in the classroom and home. It is full of practical advice for both teachers and parents. I couldn't wait to share her ideas with my own children and students."
Review: May, 2011, issue of "Library Bookwatch," which is published - August 3, 2011
The outdoors provide plenty of fun no matter the weather. "Celebrate Nature!: Activities for Every season" is a guide for parents and teachers who want to inspire the love of the outdoors in their children and students. Designed for use with every season, "Celebrate Nature!" walks readers through the year with activities ranging from theatre to crafts to simple discovery and play. "Celebrate Nature!" is a wise resource that anyone who wants to work nature into the lives of children should read.
Review by: Reference And Research Book News, June 2011 issue of Reference and Research Book News - June 1, 2011
For each of the four seasons, Fishbaugh, a primary school teacher, presents seven sets of simple activities for ages 3-8, requiring minimal supplies. Each set of activities explores a specific theme, such as fall leaves, animal tracks, and honeybees. Each theme includes ideas for exploring outside, role play, and ideas for activities and discussions in the classroom related to science, math, blocks and building, reading, writing, dramatic play, art, music, and ideas for closing the theme. Each theme also includes original song lyrics for reinforcing the main ideas of activities, sung to the tunes of familiar melodies children already know. There are also ideas for involving families in similar activities at home, supported by sample parent letters and lists of suggestions for parents. The book is illustrated with b&w photos. Fishbaugh holds a master's degree in education and has 16 years of experience in the field of psychodrama. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)