Inside Out, Outside In A Little Summer Fun

One of my earliest childhood memories is cloud watching with my family. Sometimes we watched clouds while riding in the car and other times we stretched out on a big blanket in the back yard and watched the clouds. The idea was to look at the clouds and decide what each cloud looked like. We saw elephants, ice cream cones, pillows, dragons, mountains and a myriad of other things our imaginations allowed us to see. It is no small wonder that “It Looked Like Spilt Milk “by Charles G. Shaw is one of my very favorite children’s books.

Now that summertime is finally here why not take the inside out by taking a copy (Think TRAILS) of “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” outside to read then lay back and do a little cloud watching with the toddlers in your care. Point to clouds and tell the children what you think the clouds look like. Ask them what they think the clouds look like. You can even talk a little bit what kind of clouds you are observing. You are supporting language and cognitive development. Make up short stories using the clouds as characters in the story. You could also do a little cloud watching while you are out a walk.

To bring the outside in; why not make some cloud images of your own? *Take construction paper (dark colors work nicely) outside. Look around for leaves, flowers, feathers rocks or other nature items the toddlers discover while outside. Have the children place several of these items on a piece of construction paper. Secure the items to the paper with push pins (you will need to do this) or small rocks. Leave the papers out in the sun for an hour or so (nap time would work). Go back outside and remove the items from the paper and discover the images on the now faded paper. Bring the pictures inside and talk about the cloud pictures they made. Expand on their ideas. Put the pictures on display in your classroom or make your own book It “Looked Like…” Most of all have fun outside using your imagination!

“Imagination is more important that knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.” – Albert Einstien

* This idea is from Good Earth Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Cindy Gainer pg. 114