Look Closely: The Art of Observation

Posted In: Science

Look Closely: The Art of Observation

Developing the art of observation is an essential skill for our young backyard naturalists… Focusing observations on one small square of space, encourages your children to take more time and look more closely at what they might ordinarily walk right by. By choosing one specific area to explore children can begin to see the relationships between the different discoveries they make.

Print out two copies of the Look Closely printable. Cut out the square on your first copy. Bring both outside along with a magnifying glass and some colored pencils and find an interesting place to study. Sketch what you see in your square. Now dig around a little and see what you can discover underneath the ground.

Take some time to think about these questions…

  • Did you discover anything that surprised you in your small square?
  • How are the items you discovered connected?
  • Why are they located in the same space?
  • What stood out to you most?

Now that you have your square assembled you can take it on the road. Use it to check out different eco-systems such as a local pond, the forest floor, or the seashore. Compare and contrast you findings.

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Look Closely Discover and Sketch Bingo Nature Observations



With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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