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!


    Bottle Roll Bullseye


    This open-ended game can be played indoors or out and encourages players to make up their own rules and scoring system.

    You will need: An old sheet or an inexpensive white tablecloth (any shape), acrylic paint and a paint brush, recycled water bottles, water, and food coloring or paint
    Optional: Chalk or sidewalk paint, paint markers, paper, pencil and a clipboard


    Set-Up: Fill recycled water bottles halfway with water and food dye and decorate the outside with paint markers if you like.
    Turn the old sheet or white tablecloth into a unique target by painting on it with acrylic paint and allow it to dry. The sheet can be cut into a circle, square or another shape.
    Alternately, a target can be drawn on the sidewalk with chalk or sidewalk paint.

    Make up a point system.

    How to Play: Roll bottles onto the target, one at a time, and keep track of your points on paper.



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    Summertime Fun: August, Volume 1


    Mini Marble Run – Make a mini marble run with straws and B.B.s

    Creative Inspirations #3 – Take time to get creative with the two words offered for the month.

    Soda Pop Project – Learn how soda got its start and make some delicious concoctions of your own!

    Bottle Roll Bullseye – An open-ended game.

    Ideas For Homemade Water & Nerf Gun Targets – 8 Ideas for making your own targets with recycled items.

    Think Quick: ABC Version – This game will keep you on your mental toes!
    Roll-N-Score – A game made with a box or milk carton.
    Pop & Play Dart GameThis dart game has a little twist to make it more fun.

    Carton CreationsTurn a milk carton into a whole new creation…suggestions offered.

    Hoop TossA fun game to play indoors or out!

    Heads-Up Coil Flips & TricksHow nimble are your fingers and how quick are your hands? Find out with these activities!

    A Picture Is Worth A Thousand WordsUse a picture to inspire a story.

    Last One StandingA strategy game the grows with the players and gets more challenging.

    Animal TrackerLearn how to identify signs of animal life in lots of different places!




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    Summer Fun July Volume 1


    Hot Dogs – July is National Hot Dog Month! Learn about hot dogs, play some games, do a puzzle and what how hot dogs are made.

    Spray Art – Do a fun painting activity outdoors!

    Animal Antics – You get to act like your favorite animal in this fun game!

    Hoop Challenge – What can you do with a hoop?

    Scented Bubbles – Whip up a batch of scented bubbles!


    Creative Inspirations #2 – Spark your creativity with the two words offered.

    Stacking Cup ChallengeHow many cups can you stack in a minute?


    Ramp ‘N’ Roll – A great game to play inside or out!

    MYO What’s Missing Picture – Boost your observation skills!


    Card Flipping Challenge – Play alone or with friends…indoors or out.

    Cook Your Lunch Outdoors Use the power of the sun to cook your lunch!

    Hula Hoop Stop & Go – Grab your hula hoop and get ready to have some fun.

    Peg Solitaire – This is a great strategy game for all ages!

    Summertime Fun August, Volume 1 – More summertime activities for the month of August!



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    Summertime Fun – June, Volume 1

    I have 13 fun activities for you and your family to enjoy this month. 

    You can look forward to doing experiments, puzzles, crafts, games, observational activities, creative activities, and a few other things. If you’re interested in playing along with us, here are the items you will need. 
    Each post will include a short list of needed supplies, instructions, printable materials, and any informative links needed for the activity to go smoothly. 
    I hope you and your family enjoy what I’ve planned to share with you.

    Supplies Needed For This Month Activities


    Plain Copy Paper – Lined Paper – Pencils – *Basic Craft Supplies – A Magnifying Glass – Tweezers – Flashlight – *Drawing Supplies – A Chicken Leg Bone &/or A Few Raw Eggs – Vinegar – 1-2 Glass Jars – Measuring Cups and Spoons – Zip-Top Bags (Sandwich Sized) – Bathroom Tissue – 5-6 Dice – French Fries and Potatoes – Red, White, & Blue Construction Paper – Star Stickers (White or Silver) – Googly Eyes – Yarn – Cardboard – Poster Board – An Extra Large Garbage Bag – String – A Small Budget – Audio/Video Recording Device – Camera

    *Basic Craft Supplies Include: Scissors, tape, white and stick glue, construction paper, stapler, staples, yarn, clay/play dough, and a basic watercolor set

    *Drawing Supplies Include: Crayons, markers, colored pencils, rulers, a drawing book or clipboard, erasers, and a pencil sharpener.

    Posted Activities

    Please check back often to find out what’s been posts!

    Creative Inspirations #1 – You will need drawing and craft supplies for this activity.

    Hunt For June BugsYou will need a jar with holes in it, tweezers, and a magnifying glass.

    5 Fun Vinegar Experiments – You will need some simple household items for these activities, such as: vinegar, baking soda, a jar, an egg and a few other items.

    Petals Around The Rose – You will need access to the Internet to learn how to solve this puzzle, then a set of 5 dice to play along with others.

    French Fry Project – Learn about the history of French Fries and do some fun (and yummy), experiments with them.

    Make A Flag – Grab your craft supplies and make an American flag or one that represents your family!

    10 Creative Butterfly Activities – Creative butterfly related projects and field trip ideas. You’ll need craft supplies for most of the activities listed.

    Ten Fun Things You Can Do With Symmetry – You’ll find some creative ways to play with symmetry in this post.

    The Sun – Find out why it is hotter in the summer then it is in the winter, how the sun benefits the earth, and how the earth is protected from the sun’s rays.

    Folded Hand Puppets – Turn easy and advanced paper folding projects into hand puppets. 

    Plan A Family Picnic! – Plan a day the whole family will enjoy!

    Solar Experiments – Refresh old crayons, make sun tea, a solar balloon or sun prints!

    Summer Wordplay #1 – How many words can you make with the letters in this month’s word choice? 

    Hot Dogs – July 1 begins National Hot Dog Month. 
    4th of July Activities

    More fun Summertime activities can be found here on Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

    If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

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    Summertime Fun


    Looking for fun and creative things to do this summer with your kids? 
    I’v posted some great activities that we like to do right here on Funschooling & Recreational Learning! There are enough ideas to last you the whole summer!


    You may be wondering what age group these activities are good for and honestly, I offer activities for families and kids of all ages, so that means grown-ups can have fun with them as well. Being a big kid myself, I enjoy playing right along side my kids and encourage other parents to do that same.
    I feel that kids and adults can really learn a lot from each other.

    If you are interested, then please take a moment to choose from the following posts:

    Summertime Activities – There are a lot of activities listed that can make the summer a little more fun! Fun foods, fun games, and fun things to learn about.



    Summertime Fun June, Volume 1 – Fun games like Petals Around The Rose, fun foods like the French Fry Project, craft an American Flag, experiments, and more!

    Summertime Fun: July, Volume 1 –  Play a game of Animal Antics, cook your lunch outdoors, learn about hot dogs, and make scented bubbles.

    Summertime Fun August, Volume 1 – Plan a soda project, play Think quick challenge…ABC, use a picture to inspire a story, and many other fun things.

    Please pass this information along to anyone who may be interested in getting free activities that will make their summer a little more fun!
    Thank you very much!

    Wishing you a summer full of fun!

    Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

    SUMMERTIME ACTIVITIES



    If you are looking for fun ways to celebrate the season of Summer, try a few of the following activities that can be found on Fran’s World of Discovery…

    *Celebrate Summer! – What do you do to celebrate the summer season? Use the activity suggestion to help make the summer a little more fun.

    *Bubble Solution – Experiment to find out what ingredients make the biggest and best bubbles.

    *Nature Backpack – Before your next outing, pack up a few items that will help make exploring nature a little more fun and informative. 

    *Child Friendly First-Aid Kit – Make a small chemical and medicine free first-aid kit that kids can take with them and use for minor scrapes and bites.


    *Hula Hoop – Activities that can be done with a hula hoop, a link to the history of hoops, and videos about how to hula hoop and some of the amazing things people can do with them.


    *Outdoor Charades – Make being outside a little more fun with a game of outdoor charades.

    *Bottle Toss – Make a bottle toss game from recycled items.

    *Bottle Cap Stamps – Make stamps from recycled caps and lids. Suggestions for use and instructions for the game, Code-Breaker included.

    *Tic-Tac-Toe Game – Make a tic-tac-toe game from recycled items and learn about the history of the game.

    *Ghost In The Graveyard – A fun game that can be played at night.


    *Glow In The Dark Putty – Recipe for making a homemade putty that glows.


    4th of July Activities – Activities that make America’s Independence Day a little more fun! Includes: The US Flag, The Declaration of Independence, The Star Spangled Banner, Fireworks, recipes, crafts and more!



    Animals on Fran’s World of Discovery


    Bats – There are two different bat posts here on Fran’s World of Discovery: Bats and a Bat Resource page.
    Bats has 2 sound game suggestions in addition to a few extra links and a research question and the Bat Resource page has over 30 links that relate to bats on it.

    Butterflies – A long list of research resources, questions, and hands-on activity suggestions. 

    Dolphins – A long list of dolphin resources, including cams, information pages and videos.

    Fireflies – Resource page. Links to firefly activities and information.

    Glow-Worms – Resource page/research project. Links to glowworm activities, information and videos.

    Lizards – Resource page. Lots of links to information and activities for lizards.

    Owls – Resource page. Links to owl related sites, fun facts and activity suggestions. 


    Fun Foods on Fran’s World of Discovery

    *Solar Cooking – Harness the power of the sun to cook up a meal or a snack and find out more about solar ovens.

    *Blueberries – July is National Blueberry Month! Resources to find out more about this fruit and recipes, such as homemade blueberry topping, can be found here.


    *Watermelon Day – Watermelon Day is August 3rd but this yummy fruit can be eaten all summer long. I offer links and an activity in this post.


    *Strawberry Craze – This mini strawberry research project is filled with questions to explore, experiments such as extracting DNA from a strawberry, a recipe for a strawberry breakfast sundae, plus links and videos.


    *Chocolate – Learn about the history of chocolate, make an old fashioned chocolate egg cream, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate bath soap, and chocolate lip balm.


    *Ice Cream – Make ice cream in a bag, find out why you get a “Brain Freeze” and the history of this frozen treat.


    *Marshmallows – This post features S’mores with a twist, information about marshmallows, and lots of resources.


    Resources Outside of Fran’s World of Discovery


    Still Learning Something New puts out a monthly calendar with monthly food themes, birthdays, events, holidays and much more. Check out the June, July and August calendars for more info.

    DLTK: Summer: Coloring pages, crafts, poems, printables, recipes, puzzles, and other links.


    Enchanted Learning: Summer –  Activities, crafts and worksheets for summer.


    Spoonful: Summer – Activities for summer, crafts, games, recipes and rainy day ideas. Check out their rainy day page as well with 25 activities.


    Kids’ Turn Central: Beach Day – Tips for enjoying a beach day on and off line and sea related activities.

    Kids Party Fun: Beach Party!!! –  Great ideas for a day on the beach or for planning a beach party!


    A-Z Kid Stuff: Rainy Day Ideas – Games and crafts for rainy days.


    EEK!Rainy Day Activities – You will find things to create, brain teasers, things to read, experiments to do and coloring pages.



    Wishing you a summer full of fun!

    Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

    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!

    * Indicates that the activity can be found in the Summer Fun Volume 1 Activity ebook by Fran Wisniewski. Check out the ebook store for more info and or click on the button below to purchase this ebook. Summer Fun Volume 1, not only has all the activities indicated in one convenient publication, it contains templates and bonus activities that can not be found on Fran’s World of Discovery! 


    Solar Cooking

    Easy Solar Cooker by Fran W

    Did you know…

    You can use the sun’s rays to bake, boil, and steam a variety of foods such as breads, rice, meat, and eggs!


    Today’s activity:  Make an easy solar oven


    This solar oven is very simple to make and use. If you would like to make one that is more sophisticated, there are instructions in the links below under “Learn More”.


    To make a simple solar oven you will need:

    • A black recycled plastic container with a lid from a fast food restaurant or a black recycled soup container 
    • Aluminum foil or a small metal bowl
    • Clear wrap if your container doesn’t have its own lid
    • A rubber band
    • A towel, flat pan, or a plastic tub
    • Pot holder
    • Something to cook from the list below

    What to do:

    Cover the inside of your container with aluminum foil, place your food inside, put a lid on it, or cover it with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band, and put the container in direct sunlight for a period of time. If your contents contain liquid, put a towel or a flat pan underneath it in case of leaks.

    Here are some of the things you can make with this small solar cooker… 

    Please note that times may vary depending on the time of year, the heat of the sun and your location on the planet…

    S’mores – 30 minutes 

    I have a post that shows you how to put a twist on this old favorite here. After putting our ingredients together, we checked on our s’mores every 10 minutes until they were the way we liked them. The marshmallows will not toast, but they do melt very nicely, or get fluffy and soft.

    Noodle Soup – 30 minutes 
    Using its own container, we broke up the noodles and added the flavor packets, added hot water instead of boiling water, mixed it up, covered the whole container with plastic wrap to keep the heat in, and put it on a cookie sheet in case of leaks. We placed the container in direct sunlight, checked on it in 15 minutes, mixed the noodles with a fork, covered it back up, and checked it again in 15 minutes. We thought it worked really well. 

    Here are some of the other things you can try…

    Oatmeal, canned or frozen veggies, quick rice, potatoes, beans, lentils, instant soups, apple slices with raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter, etc.

    Experiment to find out what else you can make! You should not put raw meat in this type of solar cooker because it won’t generate the kind of heat needed to safely cook it, but you can use meat flavored bouillon cubes and hot dogs because they are precooked.

    If you use a glass jar with at lid, you can make sun tea too!

    Note: We did a little experiment when we did this by placing one solar cooker in the car and one outside. Both were in direct sunlight and both cooked the food at the same time! We thought about putting our solar ovens in our outdoor grill, but it was no longer in the sun! 

    Question of the day…

    How have other countries benefited from solar cooking?

    Learn more…

    Solar Cookers International
    Learn how cooking with solar energy has helped people around the world!


    Make a solar cooker from a pizza box

    Instructions for making a solar oven out of a recycled pizza box. (Site currently under construction.)

    B
    ackwoods Home

    This site offers instructions for a homemade solar oven.

    Solar Oven Chef

    This site offers a selection of recipes you can make with a solar cooker.

    Sun Oven: Daily Solar Recipe
    This site offers many different recipes that are made using solar energy!

    Solar Chocolate Chip Cookies
    These cookies can be made in a car on a very hot day!


    If you give any of these methods or recipes a try, leave me a comment telling me about your experience!

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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!

    4th of July – America’s Independence Day

    Celebrate the 4th of July Fran W.


    The holidays are a great time to learn about history, people, places, events and seasonal foods!


    Celebrate the 4th of July with fun activities!



    United States Flag – 
    Find out about the flags of the United States and make one of your own.


    Declaration of Independence – 
    Learn about and read the Declaration of Independence and find out about the people who signed it.


    Fireworks – Learn about the history of fireworks, write the Chinese symbol for ‘firework’, and make a firework decoration.


    Ice Cream – Make ice cream in a bag, find out why you get a “Brain Freeze” and the history of this frozen treat.


    Pom-Pom Shooter – Make a pop-pom shooter with recycled items!

    Plan a Summer Celebration – Use the activities in this post to plan a 4th of July celebration for family and friends!


    America’s National Anthem – Learn about America’s National Anthem and Francis Scott Key! Listen to a rock’n version of the Star Spangled Banner too!


    Recipe: A Berry Patriotic Shake – Celebrate the holiday with a delicious Berry Patriotic Shake!


    Blueberries – July is National Blueberry Month! Resources to find out more about this fruit and recipes, such as homemade blueberry topping, can be found here.

    Craft: Lantern – Make a lantern centerpiece for your holiday table!

    Stars – Learn how to make stars, what their names are, and some of the fun things you can do with them.


    Glow-in-the-Dark Putty – Recipe for making a homemade putty that glows.




    Celebrate America Puzzle & Coloring Page – Learn how to purchase this fun activity page.



    4th of July Resources Outside of Funschooling & Recreational Learning

    Independence Day Resources

    US Gov.: Independence Day ResourcesInformation about the Declaration of Independ
    ence, Today in History – July 4th, US Flag History and Facts, American Recipes, Patriotic Melodies, Historical Documents, Help Your Country,Travel and Recreation in the U.S. plus Firework info for each state and Summer Safety Tips.

    everythingESL: Teaching About America – Offers information about US symbolism, songs, history, Pledge of Allegiance, and more.


    Wikipedia: Independence Day (United States) – Offers a little background info, how it is celebrated and observed, and customs.

    Activities

    Emint Ethemes:  Independence Day – Online unit study with links to other sites that feature 4th of July activities and information.

    Disney Family: 4th of July – Crafts, recipes and printables with a Disney 4th of July theme.

    DLTK-Kids: 4th of July – Fourth of July section includes: Coloring pages, craft ideas, games and puzzles, recipes, printables, worksheets and other links.

    Enchanted Learning – 4th of July – Activities and Crafts for the 4th: Activity book, pinwheel, windsock, printouts, information acbout American Icons and more. Some printables may require a membership to print.

    Activity Village: 4th of July – Site offers a variety of : Flag printables, colouring pages, crafts, printable paper and puzzles.


    Still learning Something New; History, Fireworks, Food, and Family Fun – A 4th of July Unit Study and Resource List – Betty Jo provides a wide variety of links that will help you create a wonderful personalized study.

    Artists Helping Children: 4th of July – Site offers a variety of patriotic and 4th of July related crafts.



    Thank you for stopping by!
    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!