Hello! I hope you have been well and happy. My family and I have been adjusting to a new back to school / home-school schedule so my focus has been on easing transitions. How about you? Is it back to school time for you too?
I hope you find this month’s prompt useful for maintaining your child’s connection to nature and as tools for slowing down and alleviating some stress during what can be a hectic, hurried time of year.
Postcard From Nature
Role-playing in pretend play has so many benefits for children, teens included. They can play out various scenarios of actions and consequences which can lead to a sense of ownership and personal responsibility. It allows children to integrate emotion with cognition. Perceiving situations from another’s perspective develops empathy.
Why not nurture your child’s connections to nature by encouraging them to pretend to be an object in nature? Consider your child’s interests (flowers, birds, water, etc.) and set the stage for engaging her imagination. When your child is ready, ask her to choose an object and pretend to be that object. Use the questions on the prompts printable to help get her thinking. Ask her to write a postcard to a friend or family member as that object. You can use this postcard template or a postcard of your own.
These books might help get the creative juices flowing:
Letters, Numbers and Shapes. Oh my!
Have you ever noticed different shapes in nature? For young children, finding shapes in nature can help reinforce early math concepts. It also encourages looking at things in a new way, getting creative, and of course – noticing nature.
Kick it up a notch by asking your child to also keep an eye out for numbers and letters. Exposed tree roots are a great place to find these!
Create Your Dream Soundscape
One of the July nature prompts was to take a soundscape inventory as a way to help your child practice listening skills and deepen her experiences in nature. Your child probably noticed human-produced noises mixed in with the sounds of nature. The fact is, it’s becoming harder and harder for us to hear the sounds of nature.
It wasn’t until we headed to a nearby field one night to view a meteor shower that my children realized what a nuisance the human-created noise is. It was relaxing to lay in a field under the open sky and exciting to wonder what we might see or if we’d encounter any animals. It was my oldest daughter that commented first on how the sounds of traffic negatively effected her experience.
So we started wondering – what would our ideal soundscape be? Would we want to hear running water and if so, would it be from a rushing river or a trickling stream? Would there be leaves and grasses blowing in a breeze? Woodpeckers tapping? Maybe a wind chime made of rattling seed pods.
What would be included in your child’s soundscape? Feel free to get creative, just keep it natural. You may find it helpful to revisit the soundscape inventory and the silent sharing walk from July (and if you haven’t tried these activities yet, it’s never too late!).
Download this simple printable to use for creating your very own dream soundscape. Think of it like a garden of sounds instead of plants. Add drawings or paste photos of your own or from magazines.
You draw your child’s attention to interesting nature finds, encourage unstructured play time in nature, and nurture the development of her unique connections with nature. How about asking her to take a mindful nature break and do a self check-in? You can use this list of feeling words as you follow the self-inventory prompts.
Click the image below to download and print your copy.