Fun Ways To Learn At A Public Garden


There are a great many benefits to walking through a public garden, and if you ever taken the time to visit one in your community or area, you know it can be a peaceful and relaxing place that leaves you refreshed from the experience. It is also a great place to give your observation skills a workout because of all the sites, smells, and sounds that naturally occur everywhere.


Here are some fun learning activities you can do while you are there that can enhance the experience!

  • Identify the flowers, plants, and trees you see around you.
  • Observe the wildlife that comes to visit the plants. 

Use the Shazam for Nature app to help you identify plants and animals you don’t know.

  • Join a garden association or society or volunteer your time to a community or public garden. Compare different gardens if you can visit a few of them. Volunteer to learn how they work and the amount of work it takes to keep them going as a valuable part of the community.
  • Look around to see who’s pollinating the plants and how it’s being done.
  • If you can, find dead plants/insects to observe. Take a pocket microscope or magnifying glass with you so you can get a closer look.
  • Read the map of the area, if one is offered.

  • Make a map of the areas you visited/enjoyed the most. How did you get to your favorite spot?

  • As you walk around, identify the scents and sounds around you. Take a deep breath and do your best to identify specific scents.

  • Put a name to the colors you see. A general color my be yellow, blue, red, green, etc., but then there are more sophisticated names for shades of colors such as buttercup yellow, fuchsia pink, azure, avocado, etc..

  • Find a quiet place to draw or paint what you see. If you enjoy drawing or painting, bring your supplies with you and enjoy being outside doing what you love.

  • Talk to the botanist, horticulturist, or the garden’s caretaker(s) and ask them questions about the things you find most interesting. A public garden near me allows us to take native plants to grow in our own yard and the caretaker is always eager to share her knowledge with us.

  • Find patterns within the flowers/plants and animals around you. Natural patterns are everywhere in nature. If you look around you’ll find them.

  • Sit down and observe the day and area around you. Find a comfortable spot to sit and be for a while and observe the sites, sounds, and smells all around you. Close your eyes and take it all in. It’s a great way to release stress.

  • Take pictures and videos. Take pictures and videos of the things you see and do. Use them to create a nature scrapbook, to help identify the things you saw, or to remember the great time you had! Post them to your blog or social media page.

  • Participate in a public vegetable garden. Many communities have areas were you can grow a garden to share with others.
Don’t forget to pack a lunch with you so you can spend the day exploring and discovering the gardens you visit!

    What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit a public garden? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

    Thank you for stopping by!
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    Funschooling Geography

    When you make learning fun, a whole new world of possibilities open up and things become much more interesting!
    A subject like geography can be very hands-on and one-on-one experiences are really easy to accomplish. 
    We find it fun to explore and discover our world in hands-on or experienced-based ways by visiting various places around us and on line. 

    Here are some of the places we like to visit so we can learn more about them first hand:

    Beaches, Intracoastal areas, estuaries, parks, preserves, historical places and monuments, historical areas around us, old trees, old streets, native American reservations, fresh water lakes, ship yards, different states, different counties, natural events or occurrences, wooded areas, forests, National parks, playgrounds, our yard, our neighborhood, man-made ponds, orchards, groves, zoo, fire stations, police stations, planetariums, science centers, museums, aquariums, recycling centers, farms, cultural centers, farmer’s market, fish hatcheries, a pumpkin patch, space centers, air museums, pioneer settlements, preserves, etc..

    Here are resource pages for some of the things we’ve covered that would be recorded under Geography:

    The following links will take you to a post on Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

    AmericaHawaii – Mayflower – Maryland

    The World: Ireland – Ancient Greece – Great Fire of London – Castle Resources

    Animals: Click to link up to animal related posts on this blog.

    Foods: Cranberries Apples – Chocolate – French Fries – Pizza – Oranges – Sweet Potatoes – Peanuts – Tomatoes – Beans – Popcorn – Corn Dog – Marshmallows – Strawberries – Cabbage – Pumpkins

    Misc..: Volcanoes – Lighthouses – Chinese New Year – Rocks & Minerals – Outdoor Charades – Mummies & Mummification – Pine Trees – Leaf Hunting – Visit A Public Garden

    Weather: Snowflakes – Clouds – Hurricanes – Meteorology – Sun Experiments

    Seasons: Summer – Autumn/Fall – Winter – Spring – When To Plant

    What is geography?

    If you are open to the idea of designing your own one-of-a-kind study, then knowing how to record a topic may be important to you, especially if you need to document what’s been learned for evaluations or record keeping purposes. 
    In short, Geography is the study of the Earth’s physical features, how people affect the Earth, and how people are affected by the Earth. This includes but is not limited to:

    Mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, storms, climate, temperature, rivers, deserts, bodies of water, land formations, seasons, latitude, longitude, cities, buildings, digging, clearing forests, mapping, countries, anima
    ls, gardening, foods, rocks and minerals, etc..

    Wikipedia has an Outline of Geography if you would like to gain a better understanding of the vastness of the subject.

    Online Games & Resources


    The following links will take you off Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

    Cool Math: Geography Games

    Sheppard Software: Geography Games


    Education.com: Geography

    Geography activities that are hands-on and crafty.

    National Geographic: Fun Geography & Activities

    Enchanted Learning: Geography Activities
    Some of these activities may require a membership to print.

    Mr. Nussbaum.com: World Geography for Kids
    From the site: The Mr. Nussbaum world geography section features numerous interactive maps, activities and games, videos, research information, printables, and much more.

    Mr. Donn: Geography
    Geography, Lesson Plans, Games, Presentations


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    Oysters & Pearls

    WikipediaOyster – Information about salt-water bivalve molluscs – types, anatomy, etc..
    Pearl – Information about the gemstone, pearl. Etymology, definition, physical properties, fresh and saltwater pearls, creation and much more.

    American Pearl: A Brief History of Pearls: How Pearls are Harvested – Article about harvesting pearls, early history of pearl harvesting, and caring for oysters before harvest.

    Sustainable Pearls: Harvesting Pearls – A short article about how pearls are harvested.

    LiveScience: How Do Oysters Make Pearls? – How natural pearls begin in an oyster shell.

    How Stuff Works: Animals: How do oysters make pearls? – Article talks about the natural production of pearls within the oyster’s anatomy and how cultured pearls are created.

    Oceana: American Oyster – Describes what an oyster is, how it grows/reproduces, and about depleted population due to over-fishing.

    Metal Floss – 15 Shucking Amazing Facts About Oysters – This list offers some interesting facts about oysters, such as their ability to filter water, hold back fierce waves, their nutritional value, depletion and restoration projects, and more.

    Ideo: Columbia.edu: Commonly seen organisms in Oyster Gardens – PDF: Information about creating an oyster garden – includes predators and reef associates. Includes pictures.

    Original Oyster House – 10 Oyster Facts You Didn’t Know – Info about oyster gender, oyster beds, human consumption, species, nutrition information, and more.

    A-Z Animals: Oyster – Oyster facts, where they can be found, lifespan, color, food, predators, habitat and more.

    Nat Geo Sites: Oysters – About oysters: As a food, habitat and range, shells, behavior, and threats to survival.

    Rondale’s Organic Life: 6 Surprising Things You Should Know About Eating Oysters – Farmed oysters vs wild and the best time to eat them.

    Recipes
    Food Network: Oyster Recipes – Fried Oysters, Char-Grilled Oysters, Oyster Po’ Boy, Grilled Oysters Rockefeller, and more.

    Southern Living: South’s Best Oyster Recipes – Offers a variety of ways to enjoy oysters including: Grilled, baked, as a pot pie, stew, and a few other methods.

    NYT: Cooking: Butter-Fried Oysters – A classic recipe.

    Videos

    YouTube: Oysters & Pearls Playlist –  Videos include: How pearls are harvested, how pearls are formed, and how to shuck and eat an oyster.
    Here’s one of the videos that can be found in the list…


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    Cranberry Resource Page

    Cranberry Bog

    Growing Information & Health Benefits of Cranberries


    Wikipedia: Cranberry – Growing information, food uses, and medicinal benefits.

    The World’s Healthiest Foods: Cranberries – Find out the nutritional value of this food.

    MedicalNewsToday: Cranberries: Article – Health benefits, nutritional content, and risks.

    Dr. Axe: Cranberries: Article – Cranberries Benefits Are Incredible – Includes nutrition facts, benefits, history and more. Includes links to recipes as well.

    Food Facts: Dr. Mercola: Article – What Are Cranberries Good For? Offers health benefits, nutrition facts, study info, a recipe, and fun facts.

    Organic Facts: 15 Amazing Benefits Of Cranberry Juice – Medicinal some of the more interesting benefits of cranberries.

    Educational Activities & Experiments


    Ocean Spray: Cranberries in the Classroom – Free printable activities include: Fact sheets and presentations, worksheets and activities, and videos about how cranberries are grown and harvested.

    Universal Preschool.com: Cranberry Fun! – Offers some fun ways families with young children can learn about cranberries.

    Elementary Science Program: Cranberries – Historical information about cranberries, how they are grown, and links to more information.

    The STEM Laboratory: Dancing Cranberries – An experiment done with dried cranberries and a common liquid. 😊

    Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Thanksgiving Food Science: Cranberry Spy Juice – Offers two cranberry experiments and a video to show you how they are done.

    YouTube: Cranberry Playlist – Information about cranberries and experiments.
    Here’s an example of one of the videos…

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    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


    Great Fire of London

    Luminarium: The Great Fire of London, 1666 – Written history of the the fire. Offers a few pictures as well.

    History.com: Great Fire of London Begins, 1666 – A brief history of the event.

    Wikipedia: Great Fire of London – Information and pictures about the event.

    Redcross: Fire Safety – Information and a video about home fire prevention.

    YouTube: Great Fire of London PlaylistDocumentaries about the fire.

    YouTube: Candle Experiments Playlist – Videos that feature candle experiments. To gain a better understanding of how fire works.

    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!

    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

    Hawaii

    Wikipedia: Hawaii – Geography and environment, history, demographics, economy, culture and more. Also, Hawaiian Dishes.

    Lonely Planet: Hawaii – Scroll down to view what the site has to offer in the way of experiences, launch an interactive map, read some articles, and see what activities Hawaii has to offer.

    Hawaiian Words: Hear the Spoken Word – Listen to how Hawaiian words are pronounced. Learn how to say: Essential words, common words, the names of places, or scroll through the Hawaiian dictionary to see how words are spelt and translated.

    Go Hawaii: This site can be used to plan a trip to Hawaii. It shows you the sites and activities available.

    Hawaii.edu: Recipes – Choose a Hawaiian recipe to try!

    Funschooling and Recreational Learning: Ukulele –  Learn about the ukulele, a Hawaiian instrument.

    YouTube: Hawaii Playlist – Check out some of the videos I’ve collected about Hawaii! Here’s a sample of one of the videos in my list.


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    If you find a broken link, please let me know by leaving a comment! If you have a site to share, please leave me a comment with the URL. Thank you!

    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

    Lighthouses

    Photo By Marco Verch

    Wikipedia: Lighthouse – The history of lighthouses, technology, building, Fresnel lens and the History of lighthouses.
    symbolism and more. Plus the

    The Lighthouse Directory -Provides links and information for more than 19,300 of the world’s lighthouses.

    New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide – History, tour info, original photography, and more for nearly 200 lighthouse in the New England states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

    PBS: Legendary Lighthouses Learn about the history of lighthouses, look through a photo gallery and find out

    UnmuseumThe Great Lighthouse At Alexandria – Informative article about the Pharos.

    United States Lighthouse Society: Lighthouse Facts – Offers more than 20 facts about lighthouses.


    Trips to Discover: 23 of the Most Awe-Inspiring Lighthouses Around the World – Scroll through photos of lighthouses.

    CountryLiving: The 30 Most Beautiful Lighthouses in America – Scroll through a photo gallery.

    Weather.com: 12 Amazing Lighthouses of the World – Photo gallery.

    YouTube: Lighthouse Playlist – Lighthouse related videos. Here’s one example…


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    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

    Bears

    Sun Bear


    Bear Types


    Wikipedia: List of Bears


    Get Bear Smart Society: North American’s Bears

    Kid Zone: Bear Species – Kid friendly.

    National Park Service: Types of Bears also Teachers & Kids

    Activity Village: Giant Pandas

    Bear Activities

    DLTK: Bear Crossword Puzzle – Downloadable and printable.

    Coloring WS: Bear Coloring Pages


    The Word Search: Types of Bears

    Cybersleuth Kids: Polar Bear Word Search


    Videos



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    Volcanoes

    Mount Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991


    Volcanoes of the World


    Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes of the World
    Listed by country, includes volcano cams

    Smithsonian Institution: Global Volcanism Program
    Offers pictures of volcanoes by country.

    Weather: 12 Volcanoes Around the World That Could Erupt At Any Time
    News report

    Wikipedia: Lists of Volcanoes
    By country and area

    Maps of World: Major Volcanoes
    Map shows locations of major volcanoes

    Historic Volcanic Activity
    Articles




    History Magazine: Volcanoes 
    Ron Wild describes some of the major eruptions that have changed the course of history.


    Volcano  Resources & Videos




    Enchanted Learning: Volcano Craft




    Videos




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    Cook Your Lunch Outside!

    If it feels hot enough to fry an egg outside, why not take advantage of the sun’s heat to cook up your lunch!

    You will need: A takeout container with a lid or a metal container and aluminum foil, a cookie sheet, potholders, an area that gets at least 2 hours of direct sunlight in the morning and afternoon, and something to heat up.

    Here are some of the things we like to cook outside in about 30 minutes or so:

    Chili beans and hot dogs (thawed).
    Baked beans.
    Canned or frozen corn with butter, salt and pepper.
    Ramen noodles.
    A melted cheese sandwich. (A solar melt!)
    Refried beans with cheese and flour tortillas.
    Buttered instant rice with black beans.

    And for dessert, S’mores!

    Put your food in food grade container and place it on a cookie sheet in the sun. To keep unwanted pest out of your food, put it up high rather than on the ground. Check the food in 15 minutes with a potholder and mix, or turn your food if it’s not ready. Then check it again in another 10-20 minutes and enjoy.
    Beans tend to take a bit longer, about an hour.

    Have a picnic lunch outside when your food is ready.

    To find out more about cooking with the sun, check out my Solar Cooking post!


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