Get ready to experience nature with your senses!
Take your child for a nature walk, even just around the backyard and let it become an opportunity to practice the fine art of observation. Just focus on these tips-
Take the time to really look at the world around you. Walk slowly. Your purpose is the journey and not a destination.
Some questions to ask your child:
- What does the sky look like today?
- What does the ground look like?
- What animals can we see?
- Any there any insects? Birds?
- What do the trees look like?
- What colors do you see?
- Have there been any changes since yesterday/your last walk?
A walk together is a good time for talking with your child, and we do encourage you to do that, of course. But make an effort to spend some time in silence, too.
Ask your child to tell you about what they can smell on your walk together.
- Flowers and vegetable plants
- Grass, leaves
- Is there a farm nearby? Animals?
Pick up the stone that catches your eye, crumble a leaf in your fingers, run your hands over the bark of a tree. What do you feel?
Encourage your child to describe what they are sensing, not just with their hands, but their whole bodies.
- Temperature – compare the hot sun on your shoulders with the coolness of the shade
- Is there any wind today? Can you feel a breeze?
- Pick up some rocks – are they smooth? rough?
- Pinch some soil between your fingers – is is sandy? or does it stick together, like clay?
Keep a nature journal and encourage your child to record (through words or pictures) the things they experience on your walks.
Remember, you’ll both be glad you did!