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This section features creative, inquiry-oriented early childhood education resources. These hands-on science and nature activities are perfect for after school programs, preschool teachers, camp leaders, extended day care providers, and parents seeking to enrich a young child's learning environment.

  Early Childhood Activities
This section features inquiry-oriented early childhood education resources. Hands-on science and nature activities such as these are perfect for after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, preschool teachers, camp leaders, extended day care providers,and parents seeking to enrich a young child's learning environment. Included are learning blocks, growth charts, educational DVD's, science and nature curricula, outdoor education guides and literally hundreds of other hands-on resources for enhancing learning at an early age.
 
  Children's Nature Books
In this section you will find a vast array of award-winning, educational books that will garner the interest of children and adults alike. Included are the classics such as The Lorax, along with a wide selection of creative new releases.
 
  Science and Nature Book Series
A number of exemplary book series for early childhood science and nature education are offered in this section. Includes many informative, engaging and beautifully illustrated books for young explorers.
 
  Puppets for Storytelling
Puppets are wonderful tools for teaching concepts such as food chain relationships, anatomy, behavior, diversity, and life cycles. In addition, for interpreters and naturalists, they make excellent models for introducing behavioral traits and adaptations found in wild animals. Children naturally gravitate toward puppets, making them an excellent enrichment tool for presentations, discussions, and enhanced storytelling.
 
  Kind Fur® Replicas for Storytelling (swatches)
Replica fur (Kind Fur®) is an ideal resource for educators. Designed primarily to give children the look and feel of animal fur, these replicas go well with storytelling and discovery table activities. We need to emphasize, however, that these replicas are not study skins (they lack eye holes, ears, noses, paws and tails). On the other hand, unlike real fur, these replicas do not have special storage or treatment requirements. They also do not require knowledge of complex and ever-changing regulations regarding State of Origin fur tags, permits, transfers, and associated necessary record keeping.

Most importantly, Kind Fur® does not require trapping animals better left alive in the wild. Regarding these replicas, it is important to note that in nature there is tremendous variation in fur color, even on a single specimen, let alone among the same species in different locations or seasons. These replicas are close in appearance (and feel) to animal furs, but won't match perfectly with any given real fur. Also, as can be the case with skull replicas, high-quality faux fur can sometimes cost more than real fur.

While realistic in appearance, replica fur can always be identified by looking at the backing—replica fur have cloth fabric backing, as opposed to tanned animal hide. Twenty-five years ago, Acorn Naturalists made a concerted effort to encourage people to embrace the skull replica concept to reduce demand for real skulls. Acorn Naturalists is now pioneering the concept of replacing real fur with replica fur, or Kind Fur®.

You can download a complete description of all of the Kind Fur® replicas we offer by clicking here.

KIND FUR® SWATCHES (unboxed, two-sided, sewn). Perfect for carrying in a backpack for discussions on the trail or for setting out at a discovery table. These Kind Furs® are folded in half, and then hand-sewn around the edge. Each measures approximately 8 inches x 5 inches. $24.90 each. MIX OR MATCH 10 (SWATCHES), $22.41 each.

 
  Kind Fur® Replicas for Storytelling (boxed)
Replica fur (Kind Fur®) is an ideal resource for educators. Designed primarily to give children the look and feel of animal fur, these replicas go well with storytelling and discovery table activities. We need to emphasize, however, that these replicas are not study skins (they lack eye holes, ears, noses, paws and tails). On the other hand, unlike real fur, these replicas do not have special storage or treatment requirements. They also do not require knowledge of complex and ever-changing regulations regarding State of Origin fur tags, permits, transfers, and associated necessary record keeping.

Most importantly, Kind Fur® does not require trapping animals better left alive in the wild. Regarding these replicas, it is important to note that in nature there is tremendous variation in fur color, even on a single specimen, let alone among the same species in different locations or seasons. These replicas are close in appearance (and feel) to animal furs, but won't match perfectly with any given real fur. Also, as can be the case with skull replicas, high-quality faux fur can sometimes cost more than real fur.

While realistic in appearance, replica fur can always be identified by looking at the backing—replica fur have cloth fabric backing, as opposed to tanned animal hide. Twenty-five years ago, Acorn Naturalists made a concerted effort to encourage people to embrace the skull replica concept to reduce demand for real skulls. Acorn Naturalists is now pioneering the concept of replacing real fur with replica fur, or Kind Fur®.

You can download a complete description of all of the Kind Fur® replicas we offer by clicking here.

KIND FUR® (boxed, one-si ded, glued). Acorn Naturalists. These Kind Furs® are securely adhered with non-toxic water-based glue to the inside of a protective 12 inches long x 9 inches wide x 2 inches deep wooden slide-top box (custom crafted in the US for Acorn Naturalists' Kind Furs®). Students can study and feel the fur, and slide the protective lid over it when done. Boxes are labeled on the back, making it easy to set them out on a table for quiz games or activities such as matching a sample with skull, track or scat replicas. $32.90 each. MIX OR MATCH 10 (BOXED), $29.61 each.

 
  Educational Games for Young Children
This section features engaging early childhood science and nature games for preschool and kindergarten teachers, extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Life Cycles - Activities and Models
This section contains a wealth of resources for teaching children about plant and animal life cycles. Included are readers, references, activity books and models, all designed to enhance early childhood learning about life cycles.
 
  Animal Model Collections
These high quality, realistic models are perfect for hands-on learning. Included here are invertebrates, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, marine and terrestrial mammals and complete sets within each category.
 
  Puzzles and Stacking Blocks
This section features challenging puzzles and stacking blocks that are perfect for enhancing early childhood education programs. These puzzles emphasize science and nature learning while teaching matching and pattern recognition skills to young children. Perfect for early childhood education including extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Science and Nature Music for Young Children
Over the years, Acorn Naturalists has distributed the music of recording artists who specialize in music that relates to science, nature and the environment. These songs create fun learning environments in extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start science and nature education programs, for preschool and kindergarten teachers, as well as camp leaders, daycare providers and parents. Included are science and nature songs, environmental music and outdoor education and camp songs from many musicians, including Billy B Brennan, The Banana Slugs, JP Taylor, Stan Slaughter, Bungee Jumping Cows, Chris Rowlands, David Stokes, Ken Lonnquist, Jon Sherman, Lucas Miller, Michael Caduto, Steve Schuch, and more.

We now also offer a selection of live music clips on our website to help you select the music you are looking for. To listen, simply click on the Science and Nature Sounds and Songs button found near the bottom of each page, or click here.

 
  Alphabet and Number Wall Cards
Wall cards have been used by parents and teachers for decades to introduce young children to the alphabet and numbers in a fun and friendly way. With all the technical wizardry out there, it is nice to know that this simple yet effective method of learning numbers and letters is still available, with four selections to choose from. Each heavy duty laminated card measures 8" x 10".
 
  Memory Games
These simple, fun games are designed to help children ages 3-7 build memory and retention. Easy to handle 3" hard cardboard tiles feature animals children know and love. Each set contains 10 matching pairs.
 
  Wooden Memory Tiles.
Classic matching game with 12 pairs of pictures (24 tiles) made from durable, attractive 2-1/2" square varnished hardwood. Includes complete instructions. 100% made in Vermont for young children ages 3-8.
 
  Children's Bingo Games
These colorful games are perfect for getting children ages 6-9 interested in science and nature. Use as supplemental activities or as parts of subject area lesson plans. Each of these sets contains 42 illustrated bingo cards with information on the back of the card. Includes six playing boards and plenty of bingo chips. $14.90 each. MIX OR MATCH 10, $13.41 each.
 
  Scientific Explorer Kits
These kits were developed to provide teachers and parents with fun activities based on the Lawrence Hall of Science Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Each kit comes complete with easy to follow instructions and materials. Perfect hands-on kits for extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Instructional Play Balls for Young Children
These 24" Clever Catch® inflatable balls add a new dimension to learning fun! Toss around the classroom, playground, nature center, or home. Wherever your left thumb lands, that is the question that is to be answered. Perfect icebreakers that get young children in a learning mood! Answer key and instructions are included. These play balls are perfect for extended care and after school programs, Early Head Start and Head Start science education, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Rubbing Plate Kits for Early Childhood Learning
Creative way for children to learn about science and nature while having fun. To make artistic rubbings, simply lay a sheet of paper over the top and rub with a pencil. Each set comes with directions and ideas for expanding this art form into many unique projects and lessons. Rubbing plate sizes range from 4 - 8 inches long. Engaging activities for children ages 5 and up. $10.90 each. MIX OR MATCH 10 (Rubbing Plates), $9.81 each.
 
  Rubber Stamp Kits and Ink Pads
Complete rubber stamp kits, including animal tracks, insects and nature images, and colorful, non-toxic ink pads.
 
  Nature Coloring Books
Acorn Naturalists offers a selection of high quality coloring books that offer a chance for young children to combine art and nature study. Students create their own personal field guides to nature. These coloring books are ideal for enriching extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Alphabet and Counting Books
Intriguing, beautifully illustrated series for young children. Filled with fascinating stories and tales about a vast array of creatures and their habitats. These alphabet and counting books are perfect for extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Leaf Printing Replicas (flexible positives)
Actual imprints of leaves that have been cast in flexible vinyl for use in art projects or as a tool for plant identification. Press with various colors of stamp pads or roll on different colors of block inks to make leaf prints using a brayer. (Note: we also offer a full range of colorful block inks and brayers - simply type "block ink" or "brayer" in the search area at the top of each page). Leaf replicas range in size from 4-9”.
 
  Fish Printing Replicas, Inks, Paper and Kits
Fish printing, or Gyotaku, incorporates science (fish diversity, anatomy, ecology), art (create colorful paintings, note cards, displays), math (measure and count fins, proportions, count fin rays), reading (use with stories about aquatic environments) and creative writing (write fact or fiction about the fish prints). All ages and abilities can enjoy creating beautiful, unique, artistic prints. We offer a wide selection of both fresh and saltwater species.
 
  Gardening - Activities, Games and Equipment
This section contains an array of activity books and games that celebrate the joy of gardening (as well as the social growth and learning that can take place in school gardens). Gardening activities offer fun, engaging outside learning for extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start education, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Sunprint Kits (Photosensitive Paper)
Sunprint art utilizes sun-sensitive paper that can be developed using plain tap water. Natural objects such as ferns, feathers, flowers or leaves are placed under a transparent cover (provided) and exposed to the sun for from 1-5 minutes. With adult supervision, young children can create a wide array of beautiful patterns for use in making cards or art collages. Wonderful hands-on art activity for extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start education, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Introduction to Trees Book Series
This early childhood education series offers a perfect introduction to trees for young children ages 3-5. These books feature simple captions that discuss common trees that parents and teachers can often find growing right outside their door: maples, oaks, palms and pines. Includes glossary, notes to teachers and internet links.
 
  Patterns in Nature Series for Ages 4-7
Young children are naturally curious about the world around them—this series introduces the fascinating patterns and sense of order found in the natural world. From day and night to hibernation, moon phases and seasons of the year, these books give young readers ages 4-7 insight into worlds that are, at once, both predictable and full of surprises. This series is ideal for enriching extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start education, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Insects and Other Arthropods Book for Ages 5-7
Young children are universally fascinated by the creatures, mostly insects, that they find in yards, parks and playgrounds. This series introduces children ages 5-7 to the diversity found in insects and other arthropods. Large color photographs and simple text explore appearance, behavior and ecology of each group. Includes diagrams, word lists and notes for parents and teachers. This series is perfect for extended care and after school programs, Head Start and Early Head Start education, preschool and kindergarten teachers, camp leaders, daycare providers and parents.
 
  Water - Early Childhood Series for Ages 6-7
This series introduces young children in grades K-1 to water as it appears in various states. Each book in the series includes beautiful photographs, captions, extended glossary definitions, and notes to teachers and parents along with internet links. These basic, introductory guides capitalize on children’s natural curiosity about and affinity for water.
 
  One Small Square Book Series for Ages 6-10
This interactive, popular book series effectively teaches children how to observe nature closely at the same time as teaching basic scientific methods. Each has beautiful illustrations to accompany an informative text. Along with habitat descriptions, these books feature suggested activities to extend studies from the classroom out into the field. Ages 6-10.
 
  Life in a Biome Series for Ages 5-6
This series introduces young children to the concept of animal adaptation in places as diverse as deserts, oceans, rainforests, and polar regions. Children explore the diversity of global habitats and read about the animals that call these places home. Each of the eight books has a glossary, a read more section, global maps, notes to parents and teachers, and internet links. For readers ages 5-6. $6.90 each. MIX OR MATCH 10, $6.21 each.
 
  Weather - Early Childhood Series for Ages 6-7
This series teaches young children in grades K-1 (ages 6-7) about weather through the use of expository language and beautiful photographs. Each book in this series includes word lists, notes to teachers and parents, and useful internet links. These books capitalize on children’s natural curiosity about weather-related phenomena.
 
  Center for Gifted Education Resources
The Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary was established in 1988 to provide services to educators, policy makers, graduate students, researchers, parents, and students in support of the needs of gifted and talented individuals. Their science and nature publications are found in this section.
 

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