Hello! I hope you enjoyed the weekend. Were you able to get outside? My family and I wandered through some trails to a pond that adjoins our neighborhood and we were out for nearly three hours. And my kids didn’t want to go home. It was a great way to start the day and set the tone for the week ahead.
We try to get outside every day, even if it’s only for a short walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder to explore a little more. Our outing started with one of us saying, “We haven’t been to the pond in a while. I wonder what it’s like there right now”. Even an everyday neighborhood walk can be a bit more intriguing with some prompts to consider. I hope these will get you on your way…
Signs of the Season
We are approaching spring and we have been noticing some early signs (Did you catch our nature words of the month? This is a great opportunity to use one of them if it’s the spring equinox that’s approaching.) It’s a tiny bit lighter out when we wake up (yay!) and we have noticed the male goldfinches just beginning to get their brighter mating plumage. What have you been noticing? Different sounds, smells? Don’t forget to engage all of your senses when observing seasonal changes.
Patterns in nature is defined as “visible regularities of form found in the natural world” and can include symmetries, spirals, meanders, waves, tessellations, cracks and stripes. They can be found everywhere, high or low, big or small. Keep your eye out for some that interest you and peak your curiosity.
“This makes me think of…” is a great phrase to keep in mind when making observations in nature. My daughter peered inside a dead tree riddled with woodpecker holes and said that inside one of them reminded her of a rustic cabin we stayed in recently. Hmm. Could some animal have used this has a home? What kind of animal might shelter in there? The connection led to these and other wonderful questions. Maybe a connection will be made to some prior knowledge. Maybe some similarities will be made to another object. Even if it seems a little silly, state what it reminds you of. You never know where it might lead.
This month’s nature prompts can certainly be used as a one time activity but would be best revisited throughout the month. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to come easily at first. Curiosity and observation are skills that can be developed through practice. Keep getting outside and keep making and effort to notice. And remember, you are a powerful role model for your children!
—Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier