Instant chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk
Flat bottom ice cream cones
Plastic container with tight sealing lid
(Place the pudding mix in the plastic container before starting this activity.) Ask the children if they've ever had mud pies. Tell them you have and they're delicious. Show them the container and explain that it's dirt. Pass it around and let them smell it. (Be cool and don't let on!) Build vocabulary by talking about how dry the dirt is. What's the difference between dirt and mud? Suggest adding a liquid and pour in the two cups milk. Seal tightly, then pass the container around the group, encouraging each child to "shake, shake, shake." Open it up and have the children describe what happened. Serve in the ice cream cones.
Adaptations: Add seeds (sunflowers) and a worm (gummy worm).
You will need rubber fishing worms, paint, and paper for this project. (You can buy fishing worms in the sporting goods department of discount stores.) Let the children dip the fishing worms in paint and then “wiggle” them on the paper.
*Fishing worms are also fun to hide in the sand!
Have children hunt for small, flat objects, such as leaves, feathers, or flowers. Place each item in a zip sandwich bag. Zip shut and staple 4-5 bags together to make a nature book.
*Older children could write a sentence about each object.