October’s Great Start Coalition Meeting

After a meal and announcements by Matt Haviland, the topic “Connecting Children and Their Families to the Natural World” was presented by Penny Folsom (GRCC Lab Preschool).

Penny read the children a story to demonstrate how parents can use literature to connect their children to nature by using all their senses. She asked effective questions that fostered the children’s curiosity and creativity about their environment. She shared ideas for families to connect to the outdoors like: planting a garden, climbing a tree, playing shadow tag, naming clouds, and rolling in the grass. She encouraged parents to engage their children in nature on a daily basis by simply selecting a tree (close to home) and look at it often, talking about how it is changing with every season while on their way to school.

We were then all invited to venture off for a scavenger hunt in a classroom filled with what Penny called her “dead things” (furs, bones, tree pasts, feathers, and much more. I asked Christian Ramos (pictured to the right) to tell me about his experience and he shared: “There were a lot of animal furs and stuff and it felt like I was in the woods. I saw all these skulls and bones and I was free to touch not like in a museum where you cannot touch. More like in the woods where no one tells you to stop touching!”


Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.