At Angelo’s year end wrap-up party for preschool, the children and parents were surprised with an incredible forest walk. We are lucky enough to have some forest left nearby our little school. It wasn’t your ‘standard’ forest walk to find bugs or climb stumps…it was an eye spy adventure. The teachers had pulled objects out of the classroom and placed them in obvious (and not-so-obvious) spots along the forest trail. There was a doll baby perched in a tree, colored markers scattered along the forest floor, pretend food from the play kitchen, larger objects for kids that weren’t searching very hard <smile>, etc. There were squeals of delight as they recognized what didn’t belong in the forest and where and what the object was used for at the preschool.
Isn’t that a great idea for a fun Eco summer activity or birthday party event? There was zero cost and the children LOVED it! My girls were also on the walk and enjoyed it, so the age range for this could span easily from 2-10 years old. My children would think it’s hilarious to find everyday items from our house on a nature walk in our nearby creek. Place object in tree stumps, hang things from trees, and give them some easy to find treasures too. Let them just walk and find the objects or give them a total number that they need to discover. For a younger child’s birthday party, you could take digital pictures of the objects and make custom eye spy lists for them to cross off their discoveries. For older kids you could write out clues that they need to figure out before heading out with their list. Here are a few pictures taken during our class’ eye spy walk.
Just to finish the story of how magical this activity was. Our teachers led the children past all the items into the middle of the forest. They joined hands for circle time, sang songs, then got to feel the earth for texture and collect any little objects simply lying at their feet. The children were so engaged picking up tiny pine cones, pine needles, and dirt. Then our teacher says “What is around you children? Yes, air. Now breath the air surrounding you and look up. Look up at the trees children.” Well the children did and the sight made me cry. My special friend and fellow parent taking these lovely pictures, completely captured the beauty of this moment.
It was a great reminder to just breath and enjoy the moment. During a stressful and busy week with so many year-end school projects and activities, I think a lot of parents need reminders to just look up and enjoy nature. Thank you to these amazing teachers who teach me a new lesson about parenting and patience every time I walk through their door, or in this case, through their forest.