This week, a special partner joins in on the Sparkle Fun! A darling alphabet scavenger hunt created by educator Rachel Tidd of Wild Learning is featured in “A Forested Alphabet” and we are bringing you step-by-step instructions to capture some of the magic on your own!
In the newest Learning Days story, we’ll hear how much Martin and Sylvia love their friends — and they especially enjoy planning activities that suit them uniquely. So when a visit with their friend Griffin appears on the schedule, they know it’s time for some outdoor fun. But what will they play? Using a magical method, an idea comes to them that not only provides fun, but also supports Griffin as he learns how to read.
This week, we are providing a step-by-step guide for you to create your own ABC Scavenger Hunt at home.
More About Learning Outside
Research has shown that learning outside can increase attention, is more engaging, and is naturally hands-on and multisensory. (Just read about the results of this study conducted by the University of Illinois).
Incorporating nature and the outdoors into kids’ learning also seems to positively impact learning retention, the brain’s ability to recall information, and overall long-term knowledge retention.
So let’s move along to the fun!
How to Have your Own ABC Nature Scavenger Hunt
First, start with an ABC mat. You can purchase one from a lovely selection created by kindlywildcompany (link to https://www.etsy.com/shop/kindlywildcompany/) or create your own using some spare fabric and a sharpie. Now start exploring! You can look around your yard, garden, neighborhood, or a nearby forest together for nature items. Be on the hunt for an item that begins with each letter (and then place each item on its letter). Next, reflect on the experience! You will find this to be a fun and engaging activity for multiple age groups — especially when you try and think of items for some of the harder letters together! You may not fill every box, but this is a great way for kids to have fun and test their knowledge!. And finally, let’s recap the educational value! Not only is this activity fun and engaging, but it helps reinforce letter sounds and ABC order too.
See Rachel’s example of this activity on her instagram account here.
More About Wild Learning
Wild Learning is centered around the idea that the outdoor environment is the ideal classroom for children. Both curricula, Wild Math and Wild Reading, use nature as a tool for learning essential math and reading skills.
Wild Reading features a year-long story about an adventurous mouse (named Matilda!) and leads children through research-based multisensory instruction in phonological awareness skills, word families/phonics, sight words, and other key literacy skills. Activities such as sound scavenger hunts, mammal search, tree study, and word hopscotch make learning active, hands-on, and fun.
Wild Math reimagines math instruction for the natural outdoor environment. Fractions are modeled using mud pies, place value is introduced with bundles of sticks, multiplication is introduced by examining flower petals, and games replace worksheets. You can learn more about Wild Reading and Wild Math at discoverwildlearning.com.
More About Martin & Sylvia
Click through (below) to listen to “A Forested Alphabet,” the latest story in our new Martin & Sylvia Collection, Learning Days. Explore the entire Martin & Sylvia series here.
If you aren’t already a Sparkle Stories subscriber, try 10 days of unlimited free listening on us! Sign up for a free trial HERE.
About the Authors
Rachel Tidd is the author of the Wild Math and Reading Curriculums and is passionate about integrating the outdoors and natural materials in education. She and her husband homeschool their two adventurous boys outside of Ithaca, NY. You can find her at discoverwildlearning.com.
Jessica is a content creator, writer, strategist, and vintage pyrex collector. She has a passion for facilitating authentic connection, whether that's through her work at Sparkle Stories or her songwriting.