With only 5 days to go until Earth Day 2020 there is so much happening in nature all around us, in fact so many areas of nature are benefiting from less noise, air, and water pollution as people are staying inside all around the globe. You don’t have to go to a far off place or search the internet to find some nature. Its important to understand that nature is not some far away thing- it’s every living thing around us. Cities have nature, lots of it, if you can slow down and notice it.
So let’s relax this weekend, make some binoculars and maybe even a backpack with recycled materials, and sit in front of our windows, on our balconies, or in our backyards and notice nature. Maybe you want to fill in this Nature Scavenger Hunt as you watch, maybe not. Either way have fun on our windowsill safari.
Find a nice seat where you can see outside. If you are someone with a backyard you can go there. If you have a balcony you can go there. And if you have a window get comfortable, open it up and get ready.
While looking around focus on making observations. This is deeper than just looking at something. It is taking the time to pay attention to details. From my window I can see the tree in the courtyard for example. When I observe it though I start to notice the tiny yellow green fuzz of the buds starting to grow. I can see the bark looks rough even from far away. I also can see that the bark is a slightly different color than another tree I can see. With my window open I observe the sound of the leaves or branches as the wind blows.
Use your senses. What do you see, hear and smell? Can you touch anything in nature if you are outside, how does it feel?
Describe! Talk through what you are seeing. Use new and descriptive language. Maybe the tree isn’t just big, maybe its humungous. Play “I-spy” and see if others can find what you see.
Draw! Take a piece of paper and draw what you see. If you are using binoculars draw a large circle on the paper as a guide for your child to draw what they see through them.
And enjoy this time together. Yes, it is an unusual year but we are in this together. Happy Earth Day.
Sara Kempton, Environmental Education and Garden Manager