Use UP to explore a range of experiences to support your child when visiting the woods and help them to learn about the world that surrounds them. Below you will find an experience to support a Preschool aged child.

Make a trail with sticks

Develop your child's understanding of prepositions as they create a trail.

Safety First

Children must be supervised when exploring in the woods. Talk to your child about not touching strange looking plants like fungi.

What to do

At the woods explain to your child you are going to make a trail using sticks. Explain what 'trail' means to support your child understanding this concept. Encourage your child to find sticks with you that could be used for the trail. Use language to discuss the size and shape of the sticks as you find them together such as "you have a large stick" or "Look this stick is wiggly".

Once you have collected a range of sticks, start to lay these out on the ground to make a trail. Encourage your child to take the lead allowing them to make their own suggestions to where the sticks need to be placed. Use language to talk through what your child is doing such as, "this stick is placed behind the tree" or "you have placed this stick on top of the tree stump."

Once all the sticks have been laid out, see if you and your child can follow the trail. Following this, follow the trail again but this time stop at every stick on the trail and use language to point out different things you can see or hear in the woods. Encourage your child to comment on what they can see and hear.

Too easy?

Encourage your child to think of different physical ways they can follow the trail such as by hopping, skipping or running as they follow the trail. Introduce language to support directions such as forwards, backwards, left and right.

Too hard?

Support your child with thinking of ideas of where they can lay out the sticks by offering them a choice; "We could place the next stick behind the tree or we could place it on top of the tree branch".

More information

Prepositions are words that describe the position of an object such as, "The bear is under the table."

In order for your child to use prepositions correctly, they first need to understand their meaning.

Use prepositions for your child to hear, this could be during an activity or when your child is observing the world that surrounds them. This role modelling will help your child to learn these tricky abstract words.

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