A few weeks ago our school started back in session and there were SO many fun exploration activities going on for our students that I wanted to team up with National Geographic Kids as their ambassador and celebrate their Ice Cream Expedition! Basically there is a team driving all over the country handing out scoops of ice cream, teaching kids what it means to be an explorer, and encouraging them to sign a conservation pledge to help protect their world! (You can download your own conservation pledge here!) A special thanks to Magnolia Ice Cream for donating all of the ice cream for our exploration experience!
It all started with our kindergarten class who not only is exploring going to elementary school for the first time this year but they have also been catching and observing caterpillars and butterflies! After a great week outside with their bug nets and containers we decided to celebrate by furthering our explorations with Magnolia’s Ice Cream which comes in quite unique flavors! They were gluten free, GMO free, hormone free and kosher! We made a big lesson about being explorers as we brought out the ice cream and the kids were really getting excited! We discussed what types of things explorers can do, and what types of things they liked to do! I didn’t tell the children what the flavors were until after they tried them (although they didn’t recognize most of them anyway) and each student tried the following flavors:
Sweet Purple Yams & Coconut Milk
Everyone in kindergarten just LOVED the colorful ice cream as I put a small scoop of each of the four flavors into their bowls. Not surprisingly many of our “not so adventurous” kindergarten students were a bit unsure about these new tastier flavors of ice cream, but there were a few (my son included!) that kept coming back asking for more!! After we told the children what the flavors were and realizing many of them didn’t know what the fruits were in them it turned into a great discussion about fruit and what types of fruit they had just tried in their ice cream!
We had plenty of leftover ice cream as our kinders have a smaller class this year so the next week we turned to our 3rd & 4th grade class which had spent the entire summer working on an insect project! My son, in 3rd grade, had spent the summer catching 40 different species of insects, freezing them, and learning how to correctly pin them onto a scientific display board along with the other students in his class. Talk about outdoor exploration! He wrote a small paper on each species that he had displayed and we all learned a LOT about just a “few” of the various bugs out there right in our own backyard! I knew they would be the PERFECT class to talk about exploration expeditions, what it meant to be an explorer and protect our planet, and try out this unique flavors from Magnolia Ice Cream with them! They had a much larger class however so I didn’t even get time for photos with the class but it was so fun to teach that age group about not only exploring and conservation but also talk about the ice cream and various flavors that were there!
There are SO many ways that your child can be an explorer and you can encourage the passion of learning new things – even if your kids aren’t into bugs!! Before we had kids we started geocaching as a family which is a favorite past time of ours and has taken us to SO many new places! If your kids aren’t so much into the great outdoors why not try baking with your kids in the kitchen, or doing science experiments indoors! Science museums are always a blast or plan a weekend travel trip to a new location to explore!
Some of our favorite explorations have been right at our own kitchen table doing science experiments! Here are a few that we did a few years ago which our kids really enjoyed!
You can go back and follow the journeys of the expedition team as they traveled the country on Twitter and Instagram at @ICexpedition.