This spring, PBS Kids kicks-off its annual Explore the Outdoors initiative, which encourages families to shake off the winter chill, go outside and discover nature. The fun began last week, April 6th with brand new themed on-air programming and online and mobile content. In addition, PBS stations across the country will be hosting local community educational activities to extend the exploration beyond the screen.
PBS KIDS Explore the Outdoors will include new episodes from science and nature-based WILD KRATTS and DINOSAUR TRAIN. Outdoor-themed episodes from a variety of PBS KIDS programs will also air throughout April (be sure to check your local listings).
As part of the PBS KIDS VIP program, we were sent a Explore the Outdoors package (we have one for a giveaway!) that we used the other to do our own adventuring around the neighborhood. Here are some ideas to get the kids outside for some fun.
Create a Wild Kratts Wildlife Journal:
I had my daughter and her pal create a Wild Kratts Wildlife Journal out of paper, string and a hole punch. This is a really easy way for them to get excited about what sites and sounds they might see on their adventure hike. To download more games and activities and Explore the Outdoors worksheets go to pbsparents.org/outdoors.
Nature Treasure Hunt:
I had the kids run upstairs to get on their best “nature gear”. They came down in some spy wear, athletic tops and binoculars. So off we went around our neighborhood to see what creatures we could find and used this Nature Treasure Hunt worksheet. I had them start at our neighbor’s bird feeders (I think they have about ten) and we immediately came across a pair of Dove’s waiting for us to leave so they could feast again.
Write Down What You Discover:
In their journal, have them write down 2 different kinds of plants they see on their nature walk and draw a picture of each one and have have them pay attention to the shapes of the leaves and the colors of any flowers they come across.
The kids were interested in this pea-shaped leave that we have passed by many a-time and never really paid much attention to. That is one of the wonderful benefits of a neighborhood nature walk – you might discover some new sights! Also write down 2 different kinds of animals you see on the walk. Draw a picture of each one in their journal. Have them draw as many details as they can remember. The PBS Kids website has some Explore the Outdoors worksheets you can take with you on your nature walk. Go here to download some more fun activities including Dot’s Green Thumb: Planter Label Worksheet and Curious George’s Recycling Challenge.
All in all, we had a great time exploring the outdoors, moving rocks to find what critters live underneath, looking at the different birds hanging on tree branches and near our neighbor’s bird feeders! It was a great way to spend the afternoon!
Check back soon for our Explore the Outdoors giveaway!
And be sure to join in the PBS Kids Explore the Outdoors Twitter Party next week!
Courtesy of PBS SoCal we have a wonderful Explore the Outdoors Kit to hand out to a lucky mate! Good luck!
· Explore the Outdoors poster
· Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers Guide Book
· Explore the Outdoors reusable grocery bag
· DVD- Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers
· DVD- Dinosaur Train Explore the Outdoors Dinosaur train stickers Activity Sheets (3 white envelopes) Seed stakes
· Dinosaur Train and Explore the Outdoors stickers
Note: We were provided Explore the Outdoors promotional materials but all opinions are my own.