Sunday, 10 April 2011

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Tips for Forest Walk


Children can be expected to walk a mile (1.6km) for every year of age. Coming from concrete jungle, Singapore, I have a lot to learn, which I am learning from Florian, on how to appreciate nature. The things most natural to me were rows and rows of shopping centres, not trees!

Here is a list of handy tips I summarized from "Raising an Amazing Child" by Tim Seldin (page 142) on what you can do to make it more interesting and educational for your child during a forest walk. I intend to print and bring along during our nature walk:

1. Set a goal such as collecting samples of leaves, rocks, grasses, pine cones, baby ferns, seeds, etc.

2. Limit on the number of samples (3-5 items at most).

3. Talk about the weather and the seasons.

4. What does the sky look like?

5. Is it sunny?

6. Are there clouds?

7. Point out the colours of leaves on the trees (and other seasonal clues).

8. Remain quiet, sit still with eyes closed at times to hear the sounds of nature such as the wind as well as observing.

9. Stop for snacks or a picnic gives children time to recharge.

10. Follow a squirrel.

11. Adopt a tree and follow its growth.

12. Lie on your back with head up against the trunk of a tree and look up into the branches.

13. Learn the names of the trees around your home.

14. Study the shape of leaves and ask your child to describe their shape, texture and colour.

15. Use crayon and paper to trace the bark rubbings.

16. Find a fallen tree whose wood has begun to decay - explore what lives here.

17. Run down a hill with your hands spread wide like an airplane.

18. Sit by a lake and watch the ducks.

19. Follow a butterfly.

20. Use a binoculars to bird watch.

21. Study the shadow cast by the sun.

23. Watch a worm creeping over a leaf.

24. Bring along a disposable glove and a tong to pick up trash along the trailside.

25. Make a "Colour Coded Scavenger Hunt" by recycling the egg packaging and allocating colours for each of the little cups. Your child could look for things with the same colour specified by the egg cups.

26. Gather woods and make a cozy little hut.

References:
http://havingfunathomeblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/13-outdoor-missions-for-children.html

http://havingfunathomeblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/interesting-ways-to-engage-nature-with.html

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