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Nature Nuts Wichita

Nature Nuts Wichita is an innovative and engaging nature study group based in Wichita, KS, designed specifically for children aged 11 to 13. Under the guidance of Cindy Tosh, this group offers a unique blend of education, creativity, and social interaction, emphasizing the importance of parental involvement as it is not a drop-off group. Parents are expected to be responsible for their child's welfare throughout each meet-up, fostering a community-oriented atmosphere.

Adopting a Charlotte Mason style approach to advanced nature study, Nature Nuts encourages participants to maintain a Nature Journal. This practice allows children to express their observations and thoughts through drawings or writings about the nature themes explored during the meet-ups. Initially inspired by Lynn Seldon’s Exploring Nature with Children curriculum, the group has evolved to incorporate its own methods and interests, including the John Muir Laws curriculum on How to Teach Nature Journaling. This evolution in their curriculum demonstrates a commitment to providing a rich and varied educational experience.

The scope of study within Nature Nuts is broad, covering topics such as botany, weather, dinosaurs, and space research, primarily through DK books and current events. This eclectic approach ensures that each week's focus on plants or animals is grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the natural world. The group's activities are designed to foster mutual learning, friendship, and the creation of special memories among its members.

Meet-ups are structured to balance play and socialization with focused learning. The first hour is dedicated to social interaction, while the second hour concentrates on sharing nature-based art or information and practicing specific sections focused on state animals, their diets, and social behaviors. This structure not only promotes public speaking skills but also integrates geography and zoology into the learning experience. Upcoming topics include systems, atoms, and molecules, with reference to Anna B. Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study from Cornell University, highlighting the group's commitment to a diverse and in-depth educational approach.

Integrating Nature Studies with Language Arts, Nature Nuts Wichita champions integrated learning for a more authentic understanding of the subjects. The group's innovative approach includes reviewing plant and animal cell definitions through riddles, emphasizing a collaborative and eclectic learning process over traditional grading systems. This method encourages innovation and creativity among participants.

Additionally, every fourth meet-up transforms into a Talking Paper Book Club, further enriching the educational experience with discussions on writing styles, narrative techniques, and authorial works, followed by book reports and unstructured playtime.

Led by Cindy Tosh, Nature Nuts Wichita represents a unique opportunity for children in Wichita, KS, to explore the natural world in a supportive, creative, and educational setting. The group's commitment to a broad curriculum, combined with a focus on integrated learning and social interaction, makes it an invaluable resource for young nature enthusiasts and their families.

Wichita, KS

Nature Nuts Wichita
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