As grandparents we can help our grandchildren to grow in their knowledge of the living world and inspire them to care for the environment. This is such an important journey. For as Jane Goodall has said:
‘To reconnect with nature is key if we want to save the planet.’
The Living World
Rachel Rohloff’s The Living World is chock-a-block with more than 170 activities, experiments, games, and crafts to make children excited about science and grow their love of the Living World through play and hands on fun. For each activity, the ingredients and equipment needed are listed. All are inexpensive and readily available. You will most likely have many of them in your pantry or around the house.
The Living World is divided into four sections: What is the Living World, Plants, Animals and People.
Here is a sample of some of the activities in the People chapter which I think would be fun as well as good learning experiences.
- Creating a working model of our digestive system, using items like a stocking and various food items, to create a working stomach.
- Making human skeletons using a range of sticks/cotton buds and pasting these on to black paper. This would look very striking.
- Creating stress balls with a range of different fillings, resulting in a different feel.
- Making their own toothpaste with baking powder, salt, water, and peppermint extract. And then brushing their teeth correctly.
I would happily introduce young children to some of the scientific vocabulary provided as they do the activities in this book. Young children enjoy listening to big words like oesophagus, amphibian, pollination and camouflage and it is more than likely that soon they will be slipping some of them into their conversation.
During lockdown the two young children next door developed a passion for hunting insects and were out and about every day searching in the bushes and climbing trees to hunt for more to add to their growing collection which they squirreled away in glass jars. As I passed by on my daily walk, they would take them out to show me their latest finds (while carefully keeping our social distance).
Such children, who become deeply involved in the natural world would relish the extension activities provided for each topic which would challenge, extend, and enrich their learning. Other children might just like to choose a few activities which they think would be fun. With so many to choose from that would not be difficult at all.
I think The Living World is a really excellent resource for 3-9-year olds to tempt them away from computer, tablet and iPhone and keep them happily and gainfully occupied.
The Living World is by Rachel Rohloff.New Shoots Publishing. RRP $47.99
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook