Child led activities are some of my favorite and I highly recommend them. The kids tend to be more interested and engaged in activities that they can lead and on topics that they have chosen. Some benefits of child led activities are:
Build a child’s self confidence
Encourages a child’s independence, particularly in their education which fosters a love of learning
Low stress and minimal prep and planning
Today’s lesson was child led. However, I encouraged the activity by making suggestions and asking questions that expanded their thinking. We came out today and I put the water table out and turned on the sprinkler for the kids. Cam caught a frog and I suggested letting the it cool off in the water table. Ava brought some hay to the other side of the water table and they began catching more frogs/toads and creating a habitat for them in the water table. Christopher went to “hunt” for bugs for them to eat. I asked what do they eat and he didn’t know and decided to get his frog and toad book. I used this opportunity to talk about the table of contents and we talked about numbers as he searched for the right page. They also worked on same and different by comparing their frogs and toads to one another and to the ones in the pictures. Scroll down for a 2 minute clip of our frog and toad nature study.
“The Frogs and Toads of North America” (another free book harvest find)
Natural materials from the yard
This lesson could be easily replicated with whatever living things are in your yard such as insects or even plants. If you have a phone in hand you could quickly search or allow older kids to search information on whatever living things they’re studying. If not, you could spend time after the activity with a follow up looking up information or answers to any questions they had from the lesson.