Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interesting Ways to Engage Nature with Children

Now that the weather is nicer, here are some simple ways to feed a child's sense of wonder at the outdoors.

1. Listen to a tree's heartbeat. Spring is actually a pretty good time for this.

2.  Make a whistle out of a blade of grass.

3.  Pop a rose petal by centering your lips on it.  Take a deep, quick breath and the petal will pop, making a unique sound.

4.  Collect pure drinking water from a plant.   

5.  Make a daisy chain.

6.  Build something out of mud bricks made with an ice cube tray.  

7.  Go on an onion hike with some friends.  Let the first friend make a "trail" connecting 8-10 trees by rubbing half of an onion on the trees.  See if the other friends can find the trail by sniffing the trees.

8.  Make dandelion curls. 

9.  Make a rainbow bouquet of queen anne's lace by letting the flowers drink water with food dyes in them.

10.  Play violet wars with a friend.  Two players pick an equal number of violet flowers on their stems. Each player holds one violet in their hand and hooks the head of their flower under the head of their opponent's flower. Violet flowers have a small "spur" under the curved part of the stem and it acts as a hook. When both flowers are clinched together, each player pulls their flower until one of the flower heads is pulled off. The winner keeps the flower head of the opponent. Play continues until both players are out of fresh violets. The winner is the one who accumulates the most flower heads.

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