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!

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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!
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    12 Fun Ways To Learn In The Park

    Explore the trails. As you walk through the trails, look around at the wildlife and plants, and try to identify as many as you can. You may find the free app Shazam for Nature helpful for identifying local plant life. Bring a pocket microscope or a magnifying glass along with you to get a better look at things!

    Count how many times it takes to swing really high. Pump your legs at various speeds and count how many times it takes to swing as high as you like to go. How much force does it take to get to a comfortable speed?

    See who’s hanging out at the pond. If your park has a pond, or a body of water within it, identify who’s hanging out in it or visiting at the time. Observe, take pictures, or draw what you see. Supervision suggested.

    Draw or take pictures/videos of the things you see and do. Bring your sketchbook and colored pencils or painting supplies along with you, or a camera to record what you see.

     Start a game of tag with some of the other people in the park.

    Take sporting equipment with you. Bring a Frisbee, tennis equipment, a playground ball, basket ball, baseball equipment, or a kite, with you to play with and invite some other people to join you.

    Find a couple of sticks and have a race with someone else. Bring a friend and a stopwatch and see how fast you can run from one stick to another. Think of some other fun games you can play with a stick or two.

    Bring chalk to draw with. Make a hopscotch board and invite someone to play with you.

    Bring your skates, bike, or a skate board. Ride the bike trails if the park has one or skate in the skate park. Don’t forget your safety gear!

    Bring a friend or a pet to play with.

    Bring some toys to play with. Consider bringing sand toys, dump trucks, dolls, action figures, etc..

    Play on the playground equipment available.

    People watch. Sit on a bench and observe what other people are doing.

    Don’t forget to pack water and a snack or lunch to enjoy when you take a break from having fun!

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

    Thank you for stopping by!
    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!


    12 Fun Ways To Learn At The Beach

    If you are looking for a good excuse to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach, here are some fun learning ideas you can incorporate into your visit.

    • Observe the wind and the waves.
    • Talk to a fisherman or go fishing. Make sure you know your local regulations and have a license.
    • Observe the clouds. Identify the types of clouds you see and talk about the shapes they look like. (Pictures in the clouds.)
    • Look for sand fleas. Sand fleas can usually be found in wet sand.
    • Ride the waves. Grab a surf or body board, or use your body.
    • Swim or float in the water. It’s a good idea to have someone near by while you do this in case a wave comes along.
    • Watch the little crabs on the beach. There are all sorts of small and large crabs that can be found on the beach, see how many you can find and identify.

    • Collect/identify shells. Collect shells and make something fun with them: A candle, art, paint them, etc..
    • Take pictures and videos. Take pictures and videos of the things you see and do. Use them to create a scrapbook, to help identify the things you saw, or to remember the great time you had!
      What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit the beach? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
      Thank you for stopping by!
      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!

      Play With The Wind

      One of the best ways to learn about math and physics at the same time is to play with the wind! Here are some of the fun things you can do with the wind located here on Funschooling & Recreational Learning:

      Fly a Kite –  How kites works, how to make and fly them. Includes stunt kites.


      Bird Watch – Bird watching activities, bird treat ideas, and links to bird-related activities and information.


      Blow Bubbles – Experiment with bubbles by making your own solution, and links to information to learn about what’s so fascinating about bubbles and bubble experiments.


      Fly Paper Airplanes – Get instructions for making paper planes, tips and suggestions for flying them, and Guinness info.


      Pom-Pom Shooter – Watch how the wind can carry a pom-pom and predict where it will land.


      Play with Balloons – Information about balloons and instructions for the game Balloon Badminton.


      Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride – Hot air balloon resources including the history of the first flight, the inventors, how it work, and printable activities and craft ideas. Plus activity suggestions and videos.




      National Ride The Wind Day is celebrated on August 23 of each. It is meant to celebrate the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer Prize. Here are some of the fun ways you can celebrate the day as a family!


      Hang glide – Paraglide – Windsurf – Play Frisbee – Make a Paper Sailboat

      Make a Windmill 

      To Learn More About National Ride The Wind Day please visit the following sites:


      National Day Calendar: National Ride the Wind Day


      Days of the Year: Ride the Wind Day


      Time & Date: Ride Like The Wind Day


      Other Project Ideas


      Education.com: Activity: Construct a Paper Plate Wind Spinner – How-to instructions.

      Kids Ahead: Wind Energy Activities – Offers an array of wind related projects you can do. Includes some puzzles too.

      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!

      Make & Fly Kites

      Scholastic Activity: Make a Kite – Offers simple instructions for making a one
      of a kind kite.

      Cool Math: Kites – The properties of a kite: area, perimeter, interior angles, diagonals, length ect..

      Wikipedia: Sport Kites: Info about sport kites aka stunt kites, also Kites: History of, materials, uses and more.

      My Best Kites: Stunt Kites – Information for making and flying kites.

      How Stuff Works: Kite Activities for KidsHow to Make a Tiny Straw Kite, and How to A Paper Kite for Kids – Make a Kite from a Lunch Bag

      Skatch-Pad: Make Your Own Kite – Simple instructions for making a custom kite.

      How to Make & Fly Kites – Offers instructions for 19 different kites.


      NASA: Forces on Kites –  Explains aerodynamic forceKite Construction – Kite anatomy, and Kites – History of kites, types of kites, forces on a kite, and flying.

      YouTube: Kite Playlist Learn how to make kites and how to fly them.
      Here’s a sample video:




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      Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

      Play In The Sand


      Build A Sand Structure


      Sandstorm: How To Build A Sand Sculpture – Information about what it takes to build with sand.

      Sandscapes: The Complete Sand Sculpture – “How-To” and Construction Manual.

      Personal Zen Garden


      wikiHow To Make A Zen Garden for your Desk – Illustrated instructions show you how to make your own Zen Garden.

      All Free Crafts: Miniature Zen Garden – Instructions to make a small Zen garden and some of the health benefits.

      Make A Sand Pool


      Premeditated Leftovers – Frugal Fun Tip: Turn a Kiddie Pool into a Sand Box with a Cover

      Playtivities: 17 Creative DIY Sandbox Ideas – Site offers a variety of sandbox designs and themes.

      What is Sand?


      LiveScience: What Is Sand? & Science of Summer: Where Does Beach Sand Come From? – Articles about what sand is made up of.

      Videos


      YouTube: Sand Playlist – Learn about sand, make a Zen garden, and learn how to sculpt sand. Here’s one of the videos you can view in the playlist…


      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!


      Gardening With Recycled Materials

      There are quite few containers that can be used as inexpensive gardening tools such as seedling starters, planters, and tools.
      Here are a few of the things you can save:

      Food grade plastic containers in all sizes: Yogurt and sour cream containers, soda/water bottles, fruit cups, milk/water/juice/vinegar jugs, salad, cake/cupcake, and plastic take-out containers, 5 gallon water jugs, buckets, nut/candy containers, parmesan cheese containers, juice bottles, litter and other large food grade containers, coffee containers (K-cups and large containers), vitamin bottles, and others.

      Other Things To SaveStyrofoam: Cups, take-out containers, and egg cartons – cans – glass jars – cardboard egg cartons – milk/juice cartons, newspaper, cardboard tubes, and whatever else you find useful!

      Ideas For Use


      Plastic cups can be used to plant seedlings. Larger ones can hold a flowering plant and most herbs to full growth. They can be decorated with paint and stickers and given as gifts too. Pop holes in the bottom with a drill or use a candle, nail, and pliers to make holes. (Adult supervision suggested.)

      Plastic containers with lids, water bottles, and vitamin bottles are great for storing seeds. Soda bottles can be turned into self-watering planters, or used as a planter.

      Milk cartons can be turned into planters that can easily grow a basil/herb plant, a flower, or lettuce. Paint the carton with acrylic paint and decorate with foam stickers or paint a picture. Milk cartons can be cut down and used as temporary plant markers for seedlings.


      5 Gallon containers can be turned into a self-watering container garden.

      Egg cartons can be used to sort seeds before planting or to start seedlings. 

      Milk/water jugs make great watering containers. Simply pop a few holes in the lid with a nail or drill. Use plastic jugs to make plant markers too.

      Salad containers can be used to store harvested veggies in the fridge.

      Cardboard Tubes can be cut down and used to start seedlings.

      Take out containers are great for watering seedlings and to put under plants.

      Plasticware – Save your better quality plastic-ware to spoon soil to containers, rake soil to add flower seeds, or to smooth soil over seeds with a knife.

      More Information

      Inspiration Laboratories: Recycled Container Gardening With Kids – Upcycle various containers and household items to use in the garden.

      iCreativeIdeas: 40+ Creative DIY Garden Containers and Planters from Recycled Materials – Almost anything can be used as a gardening container! Check out the suggestions on this site!

      Note: Make sure all containers are clean before use and are food grade. Containers that are not food grade, or once used for chemicals, should never be reused.

      Videos

      Please visit my Gardening With Recycled Items playlist located on YouTube. 


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      Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

      Archery




      Popular Mechanics: How to Make a Bow and Arrow By Hand



      World Archery.org: Brief History

      Wikipedia: History of Archery – From the stone age to a modern day sport. Also includes information about ancient cultures.

      History of Archery: Archery facts, history, & types.



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      If you find a broken link please let me know by leaving a comment!

      Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

      Animal Tracker

      Many animals leave signs that they have been around. This activity will have you identifying the signs that tell you what it may be and how you can track them.

      You will need: Sketchpad and pencil or a camera
      Optional: A pocket microscope

      What to look for…

      This activity suggests that you observe only. Touching is not recommended.


      Insects: Look for plants and leaves that have been chewed. Trees with holes. Watch a patch of flowers being pollinated. Movement in the grass. Eggs under leaves. Various stages of larvae. Listen for them. Look for evidence of insect scat as well.

      Spiders: Look for their webs between trees and under things. Each spider makes a unique web and can be identified by it if they are not present.

      Birds: Look in trees for nests, listen for them. Make a bird feeder and bring them to you. Look up in the sky or on the ground. Watch them on the beach and near water too. 

      Mammals: Look for tracks in the dirt, mud or in puddles, on the sidewalk, in the grass. Look for their scat, but don’t touch it.

      Reptiles: Snakes can be found sunning themselves at various points of the day. Approaching them is not recommended. Observe only.
      Lizards can be found running around in gardens and sunning themselves in the morning.

      Amphibians: Look on land and near water. Look for them at night near a porch light.

      Fish/Sealife: Watch the water for signs of jumping, schooling and feeding. Some areas may have shrimp or crabs running during certain times of the year. Look for fins out of the water as well. You might be able to catch a dolphin surfing in some areas!

      Places to visit…

      The beach, a pond, lake, inlets, woods, your back yard, gardens, the park, near lights at night, etc..

      Times to look


      Early in the morning, at dusk, early evening. Listen throughout the day.

      Bring a friend!



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      8 Ideas For Homemade Water & Nerf Gun Targets

      If your kids enjoy playing with water or Nerf-type guns, it can be a lot of fun to
      make your own targets with recycled items.
      Tip: A spray bottle or a pom-pom shooter can be used as well.

      Here are a few homemade target suggestions:

      Water Balloons – Blow up a bunch of water balloons, tie a length of yarn to each one end and then to a tree branch or someplace it can hang down.

      Spinning Disks – This uses recycled lids from bottles and containers. Pop a hole in the top of each lid and hang them with yarn. Alternately, a hole can be made in the middle of a lid, and a length of yarn can be strung through it to see how many shots it takes to get from one side of an object to another.

      Recycled Cups & Cans – Stack them up in a pyramid shape and knock them down or string some cups between two objects and see how many shots it takes to get them from one side to the other.

      Cardboard Tube – Cardboard tubes can be stacked or lined up and knocked down.

      Beach Balls or Large Balloons – How many shots does it take for a beach ball, or a punch balloon, to get to the finish line?

      Water Bottles & Ping Pong Balls – Shoot a ping pong ball off the top of a water bottle, then knock down the bottle!

      Plastic Eggs – Hang plastic eggs to shoot at.

      Make an obstacle course with any of these items or ones you come up with on your own.

      Spark their creativity! Offer your kids some supplies and a challenge them to make their own unique targets to shoot at.

      Please share your target ideas in the comments below!


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