Week 1: Hello Nature

Hello Nature

Hello Nature!

Many of us have experienced a sense of calm and peace when we step outside to breathe in fresh air, enjoy the warmth of the sun on our skin, and feel the growing grass beneath our bare feet. The power of nature seems more powerful during this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty. Many people are finding peace in the power of nature by exploring their yards and neighborhoods.

To help you discover the power of nature in your own backyard we will be presenting activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. These activities will have you slow down and take a closed look at the world just around you.

Please note: while exploring your neighborhood it is important to observe recommended social distancing guidelines.

We have broken these activities down by day, but you may do them at your own pace.

Day 1: Create a Nature Journal (Make it)Nature Journal

Before venturing out create a small pocket size journal document your backyard adventure by drawing sketches and/or writing observations you make when outside.

Materials needed for this project:

  • Blank computer paper, notebook paper, or construction paper (whatever you have on hand)
  • Stapler
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencils, crayons, colored paper, or magazine scrap
  • Hole punch, or awl
  • Yarn or string
  • Sandwich sized plastic zip seal bag

Instructions:

  1. Staple together some pieces of blank computer paper or any other paper you have around the house
  2. Cut a cover out of corrugated cardboard (from a box) the same size as your paper booklet you have created
  3. Draw a nature picture or create a collage from nature pictures cut out from old magazines on the front cover
  4. Punch some holes through the cover and the booklet and tie together with some yarn or string
  5. Tape or staple a Ziploc bag to the front cover so you have a place to keep a pencil and a few crayons

Nature JournalDay 2: Create a Collection Journal (Make it)

Create a handy collection tool to take into your yard or on neighborhood nature walks for things you pick up things along the way such as feathers, pretty rocks or stones and place them in the bags. When you get home see if you can identify these things using the internet. 

Materials needed for this project:

  • Several sandwich sized plastic zipper bags
  • Stapler
  • Constriction paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn or chenille stems (pipe cleaner)

Instructions:

  1. Staple together several Ziploc bags at the bottom of the bags to make a booklet
  2. Cut pieces of construction paper or card stock to fit in each bag
  3. Punch a hole in the corner through all of the stapled bags and put a pipe cleaner or string through the holes and make a circular ring to use as a handle for the journal.

Day 3: Inch by Inch (Activity)

Tools needed for this project:

  • Magnifying glass -OR-
  • Smartphone with Magnifying Glass with Light App (available for google/iOS)
  • Nature Journal
  • Pencil
  • Collection Journal
  • Magnifying glass -OR- Download Magnifying Glass with Light App  (free app iOS, Google)

Instructions:

  1. Pick a spot of interest on your yard
  2. Sit or squat and observe an inch of that spot using the magnifying glass to zoom in and see what small details you observe and note them in your nature journal
  3. Zoom out taking in a larger area and make additional observations

Day 4: I Spy Sensory Riddle Walk (Activity)

Take your nature and collection journals on a neighborhood walk using all of your senses. Write a riddle about what you see! 

Tools needed for this project:

  • Nature Journal
  • Pencil
  • Collection Journal

Instructions:

  1. While walking through your neighborhood focus in and observe using different senses
  2. Signal the sense you are using by saying “I see”, I hear”, “I smell,” “I feel”
  3. Create a riddle giving clues for what you are observing to strengthen observation skills
  4. Share your riddle with you walking partner and/or write it down in your journal.