Fun Ways To Learn At A Public Garden


There are a great many benefits to walking through a public garden, and if you ever taken the time to visit one in your community or area, you know it can be a peaceful and relaxing place that leaves you refreshed from the experience. It is also a great place to give your observation skills a workout because of all the sites, smells, and sounds that naturally occur everywhere.


Here are some fun learning activities you can do while you are there that can enhance the experience!

  • Identify the flowers, plants, and trees you see around you.
  • Observe the wildlife that comes to visit the plants. 
Use the Shazam for Nature app to help you identify plants and animals you don't know.
  • Join a garden association or society or volunteer your time to a community or public garden. Compare different gardens if you can visit a few of them. Volunteer to learn how they work and the amount of work it takes to keep them going as a valuable part of the community.
  • Look around to see who's pollinating the plants and how it's being done.
  • If you can, find dead plants/insects to observe. Take a pocket microscope or magnifying glass with you so you can get a closer look.
  • Read the map of the area, if one is offered.
  • Make a map of the areas you visited/enjoyed the most. How did you get to your favorite spot?
  • As you walk around, identify the scents and sounds around you. Take a deep breath and do your best to identify specific scents.
  • Put a name to the colors you see. A general color my be yellow, blue, red, green, etc., but then there are more sophisticated names for shades of colors such as buttercup yellow, fuchsia pink, azure, avocado, etc..


  • Find a quiet place to draw or paint what you see. If you enjoy drawing or painting, bring your supplies with you and enjoy being outside doing what you love.
  • Talk to the botanist, horticulturist, or the garden's caretaker(s) and ask them questions about the things you find most interesting. A public garden near me allows us to take native plants to grow in our own yard and the caretaker is always eager to share her knowledge with us.

  • Find patterns within the flowers/plants and animals around you. Natural patterns are everywhere in nature. If you look around you'll find them.
  • Sit down and observe the day and area around you. Find a comfortable spot to sit and be for a while and observe the sites, sounds, and smells all around you. Close your eyes and take it all in. It's a great way to release stress.
  • Take pictures and videos. Take pictures and videos of the things you see and do. Use them to create a nature scrapbook, to help identify the things you saw, or to remember the great time you had! Post them to your blog or social media page.

  • Participate in a public vegetable garden. Many communities have areas were you can grow a garden to share with others.
Don't forget to pack a lunch with you so you can spend the day exploring and discovering the gardens you visit!

    What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit a public garden? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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    Edgar Allan Poe Puzzle Page

    Now available as a instant digital download on the Funschooling Press

    The Edgar Allan Poe Puzzle Page has 3 fun word puzzles to do:

    1 Word Find (12 words)

    1 Word Scramble (11 words)

    Cryptograms (4 Codes to break)

    The word find and scramble are based on the life of Poe.


    This is an Instant Download - A Digital File. No physical item will be shipped.

    Upon payment, you will receive:


    1 - 2 page PDF file that includes:

    1 - Full page with the following puzzles: Word find, word scramble, and cryptogram (8.5 x 11).

    1 - Answer page. 

    Pages are not editable.

    For personal use only. Print as many puzzles as you like, but do not resell this file or any printed material for profit. 
    Copyright © by Fran W and Funschooling Press. All rights reserved.

    Thank you for stopping by!
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    12 Fun Ways To Learn In The Park


    Explore the trails. As you walk through the trails, look around at the wildlife and plants, and try to identify as many as you can. You may find the free app Shazam for Nature helpful for identifying local plant life. Bring a pocket microscope or a magnifying glass along with you to get a better look at things!

    Count how many times it takes to swing really high. Pump your legs at various speeds and count how many times it takes to swing as high as you like to go. How much force does it take to get to a comfortable speed?

    See who's hanging out at the pond. If your park has a pond, or a body of water within it, identify who's hanging out in it or visiting at the time. Observe, take pictures, or draw what you see. Supervision suggested.

    Draw or take pictures/videos of the things you see and do. Bring your sketchbook and colored pencils or painting supplies along with you, or a camera to record what you see.

     Start a game of tag with some of the other people in the park.

    Take sporting equipment with you. Bring a Frisbee, tennis equipment, a playground ball, basket ball, baseball equipment, or a kite, with you to play with and invite some other people to join you.

    Find a couple of sticks and have a race with someone else. Bring a friend and a stopwatch and see how fast you can run from one stick to another. Think of some other fun games you can play with a stick or two.

    Bring chalk to draw with. Make a hopscotch board and invite someone to play with you.

    Bring your skates, bike, or a skate board. Ride the bike trails if the park has one or skate in the skate park. Don't forget your safety gear!

    Bring a friend or a pet to play with.

    Bring some toys to play with. Consider bringing sand toys, dump trucks, dolls, action figures, etc..

    Play on the playground equipment available.

    People watch. Sit on a bench and observe what other people are doing.

    Don't forget to pack water, a snack or lunch to enjoy when you take a break from having fun!

    What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit the park? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


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    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!



    Coffee Themed Word Find


    Now available on Funschooling Press:


    A Coffee Word Find!

    Find the 34 words hidden within this coffee themed puzzle! 

    This is an Instant Download - A Digital File. No physical item will be shipped.

    Upon payment, you will receive:

    1 - 3 page PDF file that includes:

    1 - Full page word find with a picture background (8.5 x 11).

    1 - Full page Printer-friendly version of same word find.

    1 - Answer page. 

    Pages are not editable.


    For personal use only. Print as many puzzles as you like, but do not resell this file or any printed material for profit. 
    Copyright © by Fran W and Funschooling Press. All rights reserved.

    To purchase your copy today visit my Etsy store: Funschooling Press


    Thank you for stopping by!

    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!



    12 Fun Ways To Learn At The Beach

    If you are looking for a good excuse to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach, here are some fun learning ideas you can incorporate into your visit.

    • Observe the wind and the waves.
    • Talk to a fisherman or go fishing. Make sure you know your local regulations and have a license.
    • Observe the clouds. Identify the types of clouds you see and talk about the shapes they look like. (Pictures in the clouds.)
    • Look for sand fleas. Sand fleas can usually be found in wet sand.
    • Ride the waves. Grab a surf or body board, or use your body.
    • Swim or float in the water. It's a good idea to have someone near by while you do this in case a wave comes along.
    • Watch the little crabs on the beach. There are all sorts of small and large crabs that can be found on the beach, see how many you can find and identify.

    • Collect/identify shells. Collect shells and make something fun with them: A candle, art, paint them, etc..
    • Take pictures and videos. Take pictures and videos of the things you see and do. Use them to create a scrapbook, to help identify the things you saw, or to remember the great time you had!
    What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit the beach? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

    Thank you for stopping by!
    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

    Springtime Puzzle Fun


    This Springtime publication has six (6) games, puzzles, and activities that can be played alone and with others.

    Activities include:

    - Spring Word Find

    - Springtime Words Within Words Game

    - Springtime A-Z

    - Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board

    - Springtime Guess My Word

    - Draw A Butterfly Activity

    Also included:
    Instructions for how to play Words within Words and an
    Answer section with sun and flower icons for the Tic-Tac-Toe game
      This is a 2 page PDF with 4 sections per page.

    Great for homeschoolers, family fun time, and anyone who enjoys playing games. These are wonderful for traveling too!

    The printable pages can be laminated for long term, repeated use. Use a wipe-off marker with laminated pages.
    Cardstock paper is recommended when printing with the intention to laminate.

    Pages are not editable.

    For personal use only. Print as many pages as you like, but do not resell this file or any printed material for profit. 

    Copyright © by Fran W and Funschooling Press. All rights reserved.

    For purchasing information please visit my Etsy store: Funschooling Press



    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!

    The Benefits of Using Recreational Mathematics


    NY Times: The Importance of Recreational Math - This is an opinion piece about the benefits of using Recreational Math in the classroom.

    Journal of Humanistic Mathematics: Recreational Mathematics – Only For Fun? -  A paper written about the benefits of Recreational Math in the classroom. It talks about how other countries approach math as well. This is a 20 page PDF.



    Benefits of Games

    Teach Thought: 6 Basic Benefits Of Game-Based Learning - This article offers positive reasons for online gaming.
    eLearning Industry: 5 Advantages Of Using Games For Learning - Article includes reasons why games help people learn better.

    OpenEducationEuropa: The Benefits of Game-Gased Learning - Offers information about the potential of games for learning.

    Classroom: What Are the Benefits of Games in Education & Learning Activities? - Talks about how games engage students, promotes teamwork, and build good sportmanship skills.

    Logic Roots: 8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Board Games - This article addresses some of  the serious health benefits of playing board games such as lowering stress, building cognitive skills and mental functions, and lowering blood pressure.

    NCTM: Why Play Math Games? - Talks about the benefits of playing math games. 

    Stem Learning: Using Games To Teach Mathematics -  A short article that talks about the benefits of using games to teach math.

    Scholastic: The Benefits of Board Games - Benefits of parents playing games with kids.

    Benefits of Puzzles

    USA Today: The Surprising Benefits of Puzzle Solving for Adults - Article about the benefits for adults.

    Dumb Little Man - The 5 Benefits of Puzzles Solving for Adult - Article talks a little about the history of puzzles and the benefits of using them as adults.

    Exodus: The Benefits of Puzzles in Early Childhood Development - Article talks about the skills that are build via puzzle during early childhood.

    Memory Jogging Puzzles: Why Jigsaw Puzzles are Good for Your Brain – Social psychiatry article.

    Learning4Kids: Why Puzzles are so Important for Kids Learning? -  Benefits of using puzzles.

    Clue Detective Puzzle Agency: Discover the Benefits of Solving Puzzles10 Ways puzzles help to improve our lives.

    Think Fun!: Get Jiggy with Jigsaw Puzzles: The Benefits of Being a Puzzler - This brief article talks about the history of Jigsaw puzzles and their benefits.


    Benefits of Riddles

    The Organic Mind: Brain Teasers & Riddles - Talks a little about the brain science behind using riddles and brain teasers and the benefits.

    ESD: Why Riddles Are Important for All Ages - Explains what a riddle is and the types, cultural riddles, and their benefits for all ages.

    Grin: Six Benefits of Riddles for Children - How riddles benefit and word the brain. 

    Thoughts From The Boys: The Benefits of Riddles: Benefits of riddles and offers a few difficult one to solve.

    YouTube: Recreational Mathematics Playlist - A collection of videos about recreational mathematics: Documentaries and benefits.
    Here's one of the videos from the list:


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    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

    Recreational Math Activities


    Math World: Recreational Mathematics - Offers a list of activities available on the site. Some of the selections include: Cryptograms, dissection, folding, games, illusions and there's MUCH more!

    Math.com: Recreational - Puzzles, fractals, Spirograph, Roman Numeral calculator, and other topics.


    The Math Factor: A Quick Puzzle From OSCON - Check out the archives of this site located on the right side panel for great information.


    Yummy Math.com - Site provides students and teachers with engaging real-world math activities. 
    Example page: Big Air Snowboarding

    KhanAcademy: Math for fun and glory  - Offers users the opportunity to explore doodling in math and puzzles.


    Math Lair Recreational Mathematics - Offers a selection of activities related to recreational mathematics.

    Math Overflow: Recreational Mathematics Where To Search - Where to find recreational math activities.


    Age of Puzzles: According to the site, it offers 'a colorful journey through endless patterns of quick wits'.

    Math Pickle.com: Site is Organized By Grade and offers lots of games and puzzles.

    Scientific American: Blog: A Month of Magic & Mystery - Article offers some fun ways to get into a math mood.

    Briddles: Maths Riddles - A daily treat for your mind.


    David Eppstein's Recreational Mathematics Page - Math Fun offer links to other great math activities.

    Earth Measures.com: Native American Geometry DESIGNS - From the site: 'The Design Section is a playground that exercises visual/mental creativity and behavioral precision.'

    The Art of Mathematics - Offers a collection of downloadable books for educators to use.

    Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Informal Math Activities  - I offer a variety of fun and informal math activities such as: Roman Numerals, geometric art, spirals, strategy games, challenges, and quite a few other things to enjoy.

    Wikipedia offers the following topics: 

    List of Recreational Number Theory Topics

    Journal of Recreational Mathematics


    Verbal Arithmetic


    Book: Recreational Mathematics

    For the rest of this series please visit my Recreational Mathematics post.


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    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


    Recreational Mathematicians


    Martin Gardner.org - Martin Gardener is no longer with us, but his incredible work lives on with this site. You can get to know him via the information on this site.

    NPR: Martian Gardener A Genius Of Recreational Mathematics - Read or listen to the interview about Martian Gardener. You can listen to the short interview if you click on the arrow in the upper left hand corner of the page.

    Age of Puzzles: Boris Kordemsky - Read the biography of a master puzzle maker who specialized in creating nonword puzzle books.

    University of Calgary: Charles Trigg - A bit of information about a man who is considered one of the foremost recreational mathematicians of the twentieth century. 

    Puzzles.com: Charles Trigg - Hexagon-Circle-Hexagon - Solve one of the  puzzles he created.

    Scott Kim.com -  Modern day puzzle creator, computer game designer, and author. Read or follow the blog of Scott Kim.

    Peter Winkler: Games People Don't Play - Article PDF Offers a compilation of thinking games.


    Wikipedia: Recreational mathematicians and puzzle creators:

    Paul Erdős         Ian Stewart           Scott Kim               Ernö Rubik

    Sam Loyd          Henry Dudeney      Will Shortz            Lloyd King

        

    For the rest of this series please visit my Recreational Mathematics post.

    Video: Puzzlemaster Spotlight: Scott Kim


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    What is Recreational Mathematics?


    The really short answer? Its about learning and exploring mathematics via math related games, riddles, and puzzles....but the activities could have you going for hours, days, weeks, or longer!

    Wikipedia: Recreational Mathematics - Explains what recreational mathematics is.

    Scientific American: A Quarter-Century of Recreational Mathematics - PDF Article written by Martin Gardener about 25 years of amusing puzzles and serious discoveries.

    Article by Charles W. Trigg: What is Recreational Mathematics? This a PDF file. This article was written in Mathematics Magazine Vol. 51, No. 1 (Jan., 1978), pp. 18 -21

    MathOverflow: Recreational mathematics: where to search? - MathOverflow is a Q & A site for professional mathematicians. This question came up and offers a few responses. 


    Periodicals You Can Subscribe To

    Access back issues for FREE by putting the date and issue you want to look at into the panel on the right that says, 'Magazines Available'. You'll get a version you can view online and print.

    Read book reviews of published books on recreational mathematics.

    Subscription needed to access information.

    Check your local book store and online book stores for books that contain math related games, riddles, and puzzles.


    For the rest of this series please visit my Recreational Mathematics post.

    Here's a video about recreational mathematics...


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    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
    Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!