In our neck of the woods we tend to get our first real snows in January, so it's the perfect time to pull out books that capture the magic of snowfall from a range of perspectives. I find that the richest learning occurs when children are presented with a combination of fact and fiction, helping deepen their naturalist knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts while also providing fodder for creative exploration and thematic dramatic play. These eight great books do just that...
Sara McCarty is an attorney, mama of three, and the founder of Run Wild My Child, a website dedicated to getting kids outside and back to nature, one adventure at a time. We know you'll find our Q&A with Sara to be both interesting and inspiring.
While it can seem like a quiet time of year, there are still plenty of opportunities for winter wildlife spotting, so long as you know what to look for -- and where to look for it. Many backyard birds, deer, rabbits, foxes, and other little creatures are still out and about during the winter months. Inspired by the activities in this box, bundle up, head outdoors, and start exploring the world of winter wildlife!
One of the most common explanations I hear for why someone is hesitant to embrace more outdoor play time is that they simply don't feel prepared. And that makes sense - as grown ups we feel like we're supposed to be in control and have all the answers.
The thing is, we can't control nature. That's why it can feel so intimidating to head outdoors with children in tow. But what we can do is be prepared to confidently address unexpected challenges while fostering deep play and meaningful learning.
That's where the Wonderkin Nature Play Toolkit comes in.
Animal tracking is an ancient skill that early humans relied on for their survival. Today, learning to identify animal tracks is just one of many skills to add to your nature detective toolkit.
Being a nature detective means always keeping a sharp eye out for clues about the natural world. While wild animals can be hard to spot, they often leave clues of their presence, from tracks to droppings to unfinished remnants of meals. By learning to identify these clues, you can get to know your animal "neighbors" and their habits and preferences.
With Halloween just around the corner, it feels like the perfect time to dive into some owl-themed exploration! Your little explorer will love the engaging, hands-on learning activities in our owl-themed box.
Our author spotlight this month is on Nicola Davies, whose book White Owl, Barn Owl is featured in the Wonderkin Owl Box and on our list of "Eight Great Books About Owls To Support Nature Based Learning."
Few people have done more to advance the nature play movement than pediatric occupational therapist and mama of three Angela Hanscom. In addition to founding TimberNook, an award-winning nature-based program that has gained international popularity, Angela is also the author of Balanced & Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children, which outlines the impact of a lack of outdoor playtime on overall sensory and motor development in children. We know you'll find our Q&A with Angela to be both interesting and inspiring.
The Fall Equinox marks the official beginning of autumn, and the date on which day and night are roughly equal in length. Here in the Northern Hemisphere the days will continue to shorten, and the sun will continue to travel lower in the sky, leading up to the winter solstice.
With cooler temperatures on the horizon and leaves starting to fall, it’s a perfect time to head outdoors as a family and appreciate the beauty and magic of the season. Here are five of our favorite ways to celebrate the Fall Equinox...
Whether you live in a busy city, a quiet suburb, or out in the countryside, chances are there are trees nearby. Because they’re so commonplace, trees make a fantastic gateway into nature study for little learners.
The activities in the Wonderkin Tree Box will encourage you to get to know the trees in your neighborhood, a process that will help foster a personal connection with the natural world and provide a natural jumping off point for hours of tree-themed play and learning.
We think this box is absolutely TREEmendous - we hope you’ll agree! Here’s what you’ll find inside…
We’re always excited to come across businesses that share our commitment to getting kids back outdoors and connected to nature. One of the most exciting examples in this space is Stick-lets, a company that sells simple, reusable silicon connectors that turn sticks you scavenge outdoors into fantastic building materials. Their tag-line - “because mother nature misses us” - gets us every time! We were thrilled to include Stick-lets in the Wonderkin Tree Box, and to have the opportunity to learn more about the company’s founder, Christina Kazakia…
Whether you live in a busy city, a quiet suburb, or out in the countryside, chances are there are trees nearby. Getting to know the trees in your neighborhood is a great way to deepen your personal connection to the natural world.
These eight great books pair nicely with the Wonderkin Tree Box and provide the perfect jumping off point for hours of tree study and outdoor exploration!
Astronomy, or the study of stars, planets, and space, is a wonderful nature-based learning topic that's both accessible and interesting to learners of all ages. From stargazing to creating your own sundial, there are ample opportunities for hands-on learning and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) integration.
These eight great books pair nicely with the Wonderkin Astronomy Box and provide the perfect jumping off point for hours of outdoor exploration!
Dive into the world of plants, and you'll discover a host of amazing characters, from the bold Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant that catches insects and arachnids, to the shy Mimosa pudica, or "sensitive plant," whose leaves fold up and droop when touched only to reopen moments later.
Just like other living creatures, plants have distinct life cycles and anatomy. They're also incredibly important for life on earth. Humans and animals alike depend on plants for food and shelter. Plants are so amazing that there's an entire field of science dedicated to studying them: botany!
Your budding botanist is sure to love the theme of this box. Here's what you'll find inside...
Botany, or the study of plants, is a wonderful nature-based learning topic that's both accessible and interesting to learners of all ages. From planting seeds to dissecting plants to creating pressed flower artwork, there are ample opportunities for hands-on learning and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) integration.
These eight great books pair nicely with the Wonderkin Botany Box and provide the perfect jumping off point for hours of plant study and outdoor exploration!
There are more than 200 million insects for every human being on the planet, so it's no wonder that insects seem to be everywhere on our outdoor adventures at this time of year. These eight great books pair nicely with the Wonderkin Insect Box and provide the perfect jumping off point for hours of insect study and outdoor exploration!
Since we believe so strongly in the importance of nature play for children, we're always looking for new and creative ways to spread awareness to a broader audience. Enter the Children at Nature Play sign, created by stay-at-home dad Michael Barton.
Playing off of the standard "Slow: Children at Play" signs often seen in neighborhoods or near parks, which request of their viewers to slow down their approaching vehicle, the “slow” in this sign seeks to urges viewers to slow down their minds and busy schedules and take notice of the joy and wonder that children exhibit when playing in nature.
We had the opportunity to connect with the sign's creator, Michael Barton, and are excited to share with you about the work that he's doing to support the nature play movement.
If you've ever had the good fortune to stumble across a bird's nest outdoors you know how beautiful and intricate they can be. The natural world is filled with creatures - from birds to insects to reptiles - who show off their engineering and design prowess by constructing magnificent nests as safe and welcoming homes for their young. Our admiration for these talented nest-builders inspired the theme for this box. Here's what you'll find inside...
As a nature-based early childhood educator, I hear all the time from parents who want their kiddos to be spending more time outdoors, but aren’t quite sure where to begin. And I get it! Unplugging and heading outdoors can feel intimidating. But it doesn’t have to. Here are my top 4 tips for helping your child connect with nature — even if you’re not a “nature person."
At Wonderkin, we believe nature play is a right, not a privilege. That's why one dollar from every box we sell goes to support organizations that promote accessibility to outdoor play and learning experiences, like Free Forest School, an organization that opens the door to nature play and child-led learning for thousands of children by empowering parents and caregivers to provide it themselves.
We had the opportunity to connect with Free Forest School founder Anna Sharratt, and loved hearing about the inspiration behind FFS and the incredible work they're doing to support nature play for all.
When we were curating the Wonderkin Nest Box, we immediately knew that Dianna Hutts Aston's book A Nest Is Noisywould be the perfect title to include. The simple, poetic text and eye-catching illustrations make it a favorite for little ones, while older readers (adults included!) will find lots to learn in the carefully researched supporting text included on every page.
Dianna is passionate about spreading love and appreciation for the natural world, and it was an honor to get to talk with her!