Maple samaras or helicopters are winged seeds of maple trees; because of their shape, it is fun to see them fall and twirl in the air. Stephanie Mckinstry of My Caterpillar Clubhouse shares fun ways to utilize these seeds in your program.
Start by collecting the leaves, having children gather as many leaves as possible, and then setting them out so they can explore.
- Encourage children to toss them to see them twirl or to separate the leaf from the seed.
- Opening the seed and observing what they see, feel, and hear. You can also add a muffin tin or container to separate the leaf from the seed.
- They are a great addition to the mud kitchen, or incorporate them in your indoor dramatic play area.
- Use the seeds to count or create patterns.
- Once dried, they are an excellent collage material and can easily be glued or painted.
Get creative and encourage the kids to use their imagination!
You don’t have to spend a lot on supplies for children to enjoy creating interesting projects. Check out these suggestions from PBS Kids for re-using boxes, paper towel tubes, and more. You can start with these ideas and let the children come up with even more. Best of all, it is making use of materials that might otherwise fill up the trash!
Make your own game of bowling using recycled 1 or 2 liter bottles. make them fun by decorating them with colorful masking tape. Helpful tip, seal the top on with a glue gun so the bottles do not crush easily. Use any ball to knock down the pins.
Goal: Children will develop large motor skills and hand-eye coordination with this activity.