Connect, Explore, Engage with Learning and Wellness

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Girl blowing bubbles outside

A Note to Kids, Families, and Caregivers: 

Learning outdoors is active and benefits physical, mental, and emotional health, including decreasing stress and supporting wellness. As regular schedules and community connections are interrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is more important than ever to get outside and connect with and make sense of one’s feelings, emotions, and the world outside the door.

We invite learners of all ages to get outside and explore, learn, and play. Spend as little or as much time as you like with these activities. Do one or all of the activities, in any order. Use them as they are written or get creative and add your own twist. Each activity has three parts: Connect, Explore, Engage.

Under in the Mud - Read Aloud | Story Edventures

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Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell Headshot and Book Cover

Under in the Mud Story Edventure Read-Aloud 

Welcome to Story Edventures! Under in the Mud by Laureanna Raymond-Duvernell takes you into the wintering world of ten Wisconsin animals. Learn about how animals hibernate, migrate, and adapt to winter conditions in this beautifully illustrated and creatively rhyming book. After you read, bundle up and head outdoors to find evidence of animals in your own territory preparing for the winter ahead.

Sunset Hike - Read Aloud | Story Edventures

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Headshot of author Dineo Dowd next to the cover for her book

Sunset Hike Story Edventure! 

Sunset Hike by Dineo Dowd is a great book to share with young kids to encourage outdoor exploration. Many children have fears about being outdoors. This book recognizes those fears, suggests ideas to work through them and encourages families to find a trial nearby to explore. Dineo Dowd is passionate about getting people of all ages and backgrounds more comfortable in the outdoors. Participants joined her for a live event on October 28th, 2020. Miss the live reading?

Mr McGinty's Monarchs - Read Aloud | Story Edventures

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Author holding up book to read

Welcome to Story Edventures! 

Our mission is to use nature based children's books as a springboard for outdoor learning.  It’s easy...check out the read-alouds right here on our EEK Blog along with ideas for going outside to connect, explore and engage in our own communities just like the characters in the stories did.  The story is just the beginning of your own edventure!

The first book in the series is Mr. McGinty's Monarchs. Listen to author Linda Vander Heyden read her book below.

Adopt a Tree

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girl hugging a tree

Adopt a quarantine tree! 

Trees are a joy to adopt—they grow, provide shade in summer, and you generally don't have to feed them!

Blowing in the Wind

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Boy blowing on pinwheel

Connect

Connect with a Walking Breath  

As you walk outside to explore, try breathing in as you lift one foot and breathing out as you put your foot down. Repeat as you take a step forward with your other foot. Again, breathing in as you lift your foot and out as you set it down. This takes practice… begin slowly. Walk a short distance very slowly and deliberately. 

Water All Around

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Dew on Grass

Connect

Whole Body Grounding Breath

  1. Begin by standing with your feet firmly planted.  Imagine roots holding your feet to the earth and bringing sap/energy up to the top of your head.  Stand tall and strong.  
  2. Relax your shoulders by gently dropping your shoulder blades down your back.

Sketching Sound Maps

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Boy laying on stomach in grass

Connect

Return to or choose a sit spot. Close your eyes and tune into your sense of hearing. How many different sounds do you hear? If desired, map your sounds in your nature notebook. Make a mark in the middle to represent yourself. Place words, images, or symbols to represent the locations of sounds that you hear. 

Spotting Seasonal Change

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Girl sitting in filed

Connect

Return to or choose a sit spot. Be still and quiet for as long as possible. Tune into the senses as you observe everything in this space. Take several deep breaths. You can use your open hand to do five finger breathing- as you slowly trace one hand with your pointer finger from the other, breath in slowly as your pointer finger moves up the side of the open hand, pause briefly at the tip, and then exhale as you trace down the other side of the finger. Repeat until you have traced your entire hand. Alternatively, you could choose a stick or leaf to trace instead of our hand.

Nature Noticings

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Girl walking through flower garden

Connect

Find an object in nature that interests you. It could be a tree, a rock, a small plant. Ideally it would be something that will not move away from you during the few minutes of this experience. Get in a position where you can observe your object comfortably, resting your hands on your thighs. Look closely at the object you have chosen. What do you notice? Use your fingers to count your observations. Challenge yourself to notice 10-20 things about your object. Share your noticings with someone in your family or sketch your object in a nature or art journal. 

Adapted from The Sky and Earth Touched Me, Joseph Bharat Cornell

Displaying 1 - 10 (of 10 posts)
Displaying 1 - 10 (of 10 posts)