1. Treasure Hunt and Collect on the Walk Back From School
– 10 twigs,
– 9 leaves
– 8 stones
– 7 petals
– 6 long blades of grass
– 5 Short blades of grass
– 4 yellow things
– 3 red things
– 2 precious things
– 1 thing you like above all others
2. Make a collage of all the things you found on the treasure hunt
Each spark of creativity allows your child’s perception of the world to expand and colours and shapes and textures take on a hole new meaning.
3. Search for and collect all the colours of the rainbow and pop them in a small paper bag
Colours are hidden everywhere and sometimes in the most unbelievable spaces and places. Look for the miniscule and the huge, look upwards and downwards and the whole journey back to your home can take so many twists and turns, and you can be a giant or a Tom Thumb or Tinkerbelle, searching under leaves, inside flowers, at the base of trees, on leaf stems and flower stalks and the world will become alive with colour and visual details that engage the awe and wonder of our imaginations and spirits
4. Search the street walls for mosses and small creatures
We are not alone and as we search we can see such a variety of flora and fauna that we scan but never actually ‘see’ any more. Mosses will be the first plant that starts to use the nutrients of the host, the wall, or small areas of dust and soil to grow, they will break down those nutrients in order to establish themselves and this is the dawn of evolutionary and successive processes. The living world cannot stop moving by the seasons and as the food grows, so will the invertebrates that can begin to live in the small cracks and crevices of our world, until today, hidden in the shadows of our perceptions and consciousness.
5. Hug the Street Trees
Wrap your arms around them and put your cheek on their bark, is it rough or smooth?
– Ask yourself the following questions about that tree
– Is it older or younger than me
– Does it have a name
– Can I draw or paint it?
– What shaped leaves does it have?
– Does anything live in its branches?
– Is the bark smooth or rough
– Do any creatures live in the bark
– Think of a name for your tree and come back tomorrow
Having a special tree is like the woodsmen of the olden days, they used to read the woods and forests as they grew and matured, they understood them and could see if they were healthy or sick, when a new branch emerged and when a bud exploded onto the flowers that set for the seeds to be dispersed for another season. Having your own tree allows your child to learn that seasons com and seasons go and they can understand their own sense of place and space in the world around them.
6. Count Fish in the river or pond
The rivers and ponds are special places, water is a natural relaxant and reduces stress just be being around it. If you can sit and watch the reflections of the overhanging trees, the riverside plants and the swiftly turning and for every changing directions of the fish that live there, we begin to get lost in a whole new world and our brain waves change allowing the stresses and anxieties of the day to simply melt away into the very water itself and we can emerge smiling and well. We can begin to imagine their little stories and create new worlds of fantasy and magic around those fish as they swish their tales and gulp in the air through their gills.
7. Walk barefoot through the grass and leaves in the park
Become grounded, literally! We have earth cables in our electricity to ensure that our systems work well. In the same way we require earthing and we benefit from the touch of the soil, the textures of the ground, the variety of different sensations as they massage our feet on our nature trail of discovery and stimulations on our journey home.
8. Make a magic wand
a. Find a special stick that would make a great wand
b. Collect some ‘magic’ things likes leaves and grasses, feathers and petals
c. Use some coloured wool to wrap around it in shapes and patterns, tying your ‘magic’ things onto you wand
As we walk through our magic wand will be different every time, every season as the variety of things to choose from will be altered. We will become conscious of different leaves, and shapes, colours and textures and we can categorise in so many different ways, ‘only things as big as your fingernail’ ‘only long things’ ‘only feathers’ ‘only grasses’ ‘ only green things’ and so we can build up a collection of magic wands and our stories of what we can do with them, we can create a book of wonders.
9. Count how many birds you can see or hear as you walk home
There will be changes in the numbers and types of birds flying overhead depending on the season, in the spring look out for the swallows and house martins and other migrant birds arriving, and in the autumn those corresponding birds leaving for warmer climes. Are there more or less birds this week than last, this season than last, what happens in the winter? Where do those birds hide away? Can we make a difference in our own gardens or balconies by putting out some birdseed.
10. Sit down on a wall, some steps or some grass
If you can find some and close your eyes and think of all the wonderful things nature contains to make you feel happy because if we are always thinking about the additional opportunities that we can offer our children then our walks home from school or, indeed on the way there, become increasingly personal and builds stronger familial bonds due to the shared experiences.
Keep your eyes open and allow yourself and your child to think outside the proverbial box…once you start, your imaginations will run riot and as a result the adventures become engaging, fascinating, fabulous and the most important part of your day.
Deep Level learning can occur and long-term memories established. So when your child is asked, “what did you do at school today?” they will describe the wonderful journeys you have explored together.