Ballard Early Learning Families had the opportunity to use their senses and explore nature. They used leaves to create a colorful picture, their sense of smell to explore different scents found in nature, sorted wild and domestic animals and then sketched their habitats, they built a home for their finger puppets and they used felt story boards and costumes from the dramatic play area to retell the story The Three Little Pigs. Our volunteers and parents prompted the children in each of the 5 exploring areas with probing questions and helped them take a closer look using scientific tools such as the magnifying lens, binoculars and grabbing tweezers. Our first unit of study is Nature All Around Us. After experiencing a preview of this unit last evening our early learning families understand how they can continue exploring nature and connecting science and literature at home. They can talk with their child about the things they can smell, see, hear, taste and touch. They can discover nature on a walk and encourage a thinking discussion along the way….”What would happen if….” And they can read books about nature and our environment that will encourage learning new vocabulary words in context. Play is an important part of a child’s preschool development. It is how a child learns to problem-solve, interact, turn take and socialize with peers. And last night our early learners had the best playmates possible…Mom & Dad.