Monday, June 21, 2010

Tree-mendous Nature Themes

“Nature is a volume of which God is the author.” - Harvey

Summer runs with a smooth flow if you add a few theme weeks to your family’s summer program. A “theme week” is a concept I started when my kids were young in focusing on one particular area of interest for the entire week by choosing activities, books, crafts and even devotionals that center on the theme. Today I want to offer ideas centering on nature as a theme. Now nature can encompass a wide range of creatures and creation, so use it as an opportunity to teach about God’s mighty handiwork. I’ll give you a several ideas to help you get started, but certainly you have room to add to it as I recognize the expanse of the topic on nature. You may even want to turn these daily themes into weekly themes for the summer.

Day One: Bugging Out
Activities – Make or buy bug catchers and go on a bug hunt, visit local natural history museum or university, rent a bug movie, chase fireflies in the evening, look at bugs through a magnifying glass.
Books - The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Quiet Cricket both by Eric Carle, Ms. Spider series by David Kirk.
Crafts – Create your own antennae using a headband and pipe cleaners, make tissue paper butterflies, make and decorate bug catchers using plastic jars and netting.
Devotional – Consider the Ant, Proverbs 6:6-11

Day Two: Flower Power
Activities – visit a garden or nursery or arboretum in the area. Purchase seeds and plant a small garden or plant flowers in a pot.
Books – Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, My Backyard Garden by Carol Lerner
Craft – Paint and decorate flower pots and visors, make tissue paper flowers, color or water paint pictures of a garden, make ice cream treats with ice cream in clay pots, use chocolate cookie crumbles for the dirt and put a plastic flower on top. Add a gummy worm for effect!
Devotional – The Four Soils. Mark 4:1-20

Day Three: Super Skies
Activities – Visit planetarium, lay down outside and cloud watch talking about the different shapes that you see, star gaze at night, look through a telescope.
Books – The Cloud Book, by Tomie de Paola, It Couldn't Just Happen: Fascinating Facts About God's World by Larry Richards.
Crafts – Make drawings of both the day sky and the night sky. Use glitter for stars on the night scene and clouds for the day.
Devotional – Creation Genesis 1:14 – 19, The Heavens Declare the Glory of God. Psalm 19

Day Four: Amazing Animals
Activities - Visit the zoo, local farm, doggy park, rent or go to movies about animals, dress up like animals using face paint and making ears using felt and headbands.
Books – Anamalia, by Graeme Base, Animals Born Alive and Well, by Ruth Heller.
Crafts – Make animals out of clay or foil or recycled items. Bake and decorate animal shaped cookies. Draw pictures of the zoo and Noah’s Ark. Put together photo album of animal pictures from magazine or from the zoo.
Devotional – Creation Genesis 1:20 – 25, Noah’s ark Genesis 6,7

Day Five: Tremendous Trees
Activities – Take a hike through a forest, visit a wooded area and do bark rubbings, collect leaves, plant a tree.
Books – The Legend of the Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt and Tim Jonke, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.
Crafts – Create tree bark rubbings by holding paper on the side of a tree and rubbing with a crayon to get the impression (collect several and compare different barks), draw a forest, make a collage from items collected on your hike, preserve leaves between wax paper or clear contact paper, write a poem about trees.
Devotional – All of creation sings God’s praises Psalm 96:11-12

Well I hope these ideas sparked your thinking and gave you some fun ideas to do with the kids this week. May the Lord bless you as you celebrate His creation. Be sure to add your own book suggestions in the comment area. Next week is Water Week and I’ll give you some fun and easy ideas to do with the kids all focusing on the theme of water. Be sure to check out my Thrive blog at for some thoughts from this past weekend.

1 comment:

慶天慶天 said...