Encourage a Child to Explore The World and Reduce Their Overwhelm

Highly sensitive children are not only very aware of their environment, but also often overwhelmed by it. This guest post features an activity that is a fun way to help your child make sense of the world around them and open a discussion on things they see around them.

Encourage a Child to Explore The World & Reduce Their Overwhelm–———

Preschoolers are often very curious about the world around them, and understanding the world is a great way to make it less overwhelming!

Recognizing that different living things inhabit different surroundings is one of the first steps kids take toward better understanding our world.

In this activity we’ll be focusing on the three main environments where you can find all life on Earth: land, air, and sea. Your little one will get a head start on learning about different environments and their features while creating this interactive game.

What You Need:

  • 2 sheets of white watercolor paper
  • Markers
  • Pencil markers
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What You Do:
Get started by placing a stack of three sheets of paper vertically (portrait style) and fold the stack into thirds. Cut along the thirds.

Cut down the thirds into smaller pieces of paper that are about 2″ x 2″.

Ask your child to draw one life-form or environmental feature (river, valley, mountain, cloud) in each square using the markers. Try to encourage your child to come up with an equal amount of items that belong on land, in air and in water. Help her come up with some ideas as she draws.

Place the other sheet of paper vertically and draw two lines equally spaced from top to bottom to divide the paper into thirds. On the bottom of the page write “On Land” in the first space from the left, “In Air” on the second space, and “In Water” on the last space.

Ask your child to categorize where the drawings belong, filling up each area completely.


Turn this activity into a game by timing her to see how quickly she can correctly categorize each item that belongs in a given environment.

Helpful Hint:

Encourage your child to get creative with her choices. For example: a caterpillar is a land animal, but after a few weeks it becomes a butterfly, which would probably be considered an air animal. If your child is really up for a challenge, ask her to think of as many animals and environmental features as she can that could be placed in more than one category.

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About Amanda van Mulligen

Mother, writer, author, blogger. I was born in Britain but live in the Netherlands. I have three Dutch sons and a Dutch husband and I blog about Turning Dutch and raising highly sensitive children.
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