Here are some simple ideas for reconnecting to nature. Try these activities with kids of all ages!
Brief, solo activities
- Close your eyes and quietly count the number of nature sounds you hear in five minutes. Do this with each of your five senses.
- Listen to any guided nature meditation – check out YouTube, Insight Timer, and others.
- Compare/contrast two plants in great detail. Try it with two plants in the same species as well as two plants of different species.
- Learn “How to Talk to a Tree”: imagine the tree is your best friend and tell it everything you notice that’s beautiful, give gratitude for all it gives the earth, ask questions about those aspects of the tree that you don’t yet know about. Tell a tree the story of your life and see if any metaphors arise – does the tree have any attributes that can be reflected in your own life?
- Watch our Nature Stories videos or read other great children’s books.
Solo adventures of exploration
- Inventory the details in multiple 1 square foot sections of the forest floor in the sun and shade, in wet and dry locations, and examine/draw the similarities and differences.
- Pick a favorite spot outside. Write about the living beings (plant or animal) that you observe there. Try to be as detailed as you can. When you’re finished, write about all the nonliving things that support those living beings and how they do it.
- While in your favorite spot, choose a particular plant or animal to draw. Then draw all the strategies that plant or animal uses to live.
- Go outside and choose a favorite plant to watch in this season. Visit the plant regularly and write about the ways it changes and how it stays the same throughout the year. How are you changing and staying the same during that same period of time?
- Draw or paint a tree in all seasons and include any critters that depend on it.
Group adventures and projects
- Create a “Follow Your Rainfall” project where participants get out in a gentle rain (safely!) and follow the water from their rooftops to the storm drainage to the local creek or tributary.
- Host a “How to Talk to a Tree” event for a group of friends; imagine the tree is your best friend and tell it everything you notice that’s beautiful, give gratitude for all it gives the earth, and ask questions about those aspects of the tree that you don’t yet know about. Tell a tree the story of your life and see if any metaphors arise – does the tree have any attributes that can be reflected in your own life? Share your reflections with other participants.
- Host Joanna Macy’s “Council of All Beings” ritual.
- Host a Biomimicry Design Challenge or contest.