Equipment you need
To stimulate children’s curiosity and wondering, you can give the child a box. The box can be a place to keep bugs or whatever they find interesting carefully. The child gets an opportunity to observe and explore it better, keep it longer or find something new to collect.
Equipment for the outdoor
Even if you haven’t planned an excursion on a particular topic, it can be useful to bring some equipment when you go out into nature with children. You will be prepared to meet their spontaneous engagement for exploration. Sometimes you will bring your equipment back unused. In short, equipment can give children more opportunities for inquiry.
Equipment to bring on any trip outdoors:
- Plastic boxes (e.g. from ice cream, yoghurt) to keep what you collect in
- Magnifying glass (box) to study what you found in more detail
- Books/posters/app to identify species
- Camera/mobile phone to take pictures
Excursions with a planned topic
When you and your group of children have a goal or purpose, you need to think about what equipment you want to bring for the activities you have planned. Though it may depend on location or theme, here are some suggestions (but of course, use your idea and your knowledge about your local community):
Forest & field:
- Magnifying glass
- Posters/pictures reflecting this particular habitat(to see what we can find this time)
- Field books about flowers, mushrooms, insects, trees etc.
- Small pieces of Plexiglas(to study a snail’s movement)
- Knives or saw (to find and taste the tree sap in the spring)
- Different apps for birds, trees, and species in general
- Insect tweezers
- Insect nets
- Newspapers (convenient for collecting plants)
- Notebook/paper and pencil for drawing
- Life jacket
- Boxes/buckets in different sizes
- Plastic trays
- Different equipment to catch/collect crabs, shrimps, fishes, and other "creatures"
- Books and apps to help define what we have found/are looking at (when the children are ready to find out)
- Equipment to boil or fry what is possible to eat/taste
- Water binoculars
- Remember to check time for low tide
- Books, posters, and apps about birds
- Laminated posters/collection of pictures for this particular habitat, if we know what kinds of birds we can expect to see
- Games with bird-theme (laminated photos - find two similar birds, for example)
- Apps with the birds sounds/song (use our ears, listen, and try to identify one or two)
- Materials for building a bird box
- An empty bird’snest (from last year)
- Food for birds
- Feeding station
IMPORTANT! The number of children or number of groups will also play an important role in deciding quantities of equipment.
It is also important to wear the right clothes and shoes, depending on the weather. In Norwegian, we have the saying “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!”
It may happen that children are interested in the equipment itself and need to explore it before they are ready to use it as intended. It is OK to use the time to do so without rushing to the activity you have planned. Children may also use the equipment in unexpected ways. It will be interesting to observe how children find out how it works.
Here you can find some relevant information about children and equipment:
Add examples from different countries about possibilities and restrictions
Equipment for indoor experiments
It is possible to plan some experiments with children to stimulate their curiosity. Here are some themes and lists of equipment which would be nice to have access to in the kindergarten or school:
Here you can find some relevant information about indoor equipment:
- Forskerfrø.no “Temasider”
If there is a digital whiteboard at the kindergarten/school to show pictures that you have taken in nature, you can use it for shared reflection.
A digital microscope is another piece of equipment that can stimulate children's curiosity. Let the children explore on their own without giving them instructions.