Take a Circle Walk

nature walk mushroom circle

Hunt for circles on your next hike outside.

What You Need

  • Camera
  • Crayons or colored pencils (optional)
  • Drawing paper (optional)

What You Do

  1. Look for Circles in Your House
    Before you go outside, have your child look around your house to find some circles. He or she will realize that a circle is a basic shape, and you can find them almost everywhere–from the top of a lamp shade to a plate in the kitchen sink.
  2. Look for Circles Outside
    Walk in your yard and around your neighborhood, letting your child search for circles. They’re all over the place–manhole covers in the street, the moon above, an acorn tipped on its edge. Ask your child to name a few special things about the circle shape. (It has no end or corners, for instance.)

    Nature walk moon circle

  3. Take Photos of Circles
    Whenever your child finds a good specimen, take a picture of it for your circle collection. Keep adding to it as she spies the inside of a dried-out sunflower or he points to a bird’s nest in a tree.
    When you have an opportunity, point out other shapes within circles. If your child sees a bicycle tire, for example, ask what shape the spokes make inside the circular wheel. (triangle) Or, have your child drop a pebble in a puddle to create rippling circles within circles.
  4. Make a Display
    Back at home, ask your child to imagine a scene where everything is made from circles. What would it look like? Ask your child to draw this picture. Then print out the pictures you took while on your walk and assemble them into a book about circles.
    The circle photographs you took could be the first chapter of a book about shapes. On a future walk, you can gather materials for the next chapter. Pick a shape, any shape–triangles, squares, rectangles!