Welcome to Day 5 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge page. If you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.
Take a bug’s eye view.
Nature often feels the most significant on the large scale – at the tops of mountains and edges of oceans. But the small scale offers untold wonder and insights. Millions of organisms that are essential to how the world works live under our feet every day.
Spend 15 minutes (or more!) with your child pretending you are a very tiny creature in your own yard. Get down on your bellies to look between blades of grass, get up close with ant hills, and take a new perspective on weeds.
Turn over rocks, watching the little creatures who live underneath them. In my field biology class in college, we once went to a hill covered in flat rocks. My professor told us to count the salamanders we saw. At first, there wasn’t a single salamander in sight. But as we systematically turned over rocks, we found hundreds of them on that single hill! Often, we have no idea who we share our space with until we take the time to look closely.
If you have a magnifying glass, use it to see your tiny neighbors even better. Poke in the dirt with a shovel or your hands, looking at what creatures emerge.
With your child, talk about what you’ve seen. What was the most interesting thing they saw? The grossest? The most surprising? What would it feel like to be a bug?
If you have time, allow your child space to just watch a single phenomena. Watching ants march in and out of their hills can be particularly fascinating.
While you’re down on the ground, take a photo of what you see and post it to the We’ll Eat You Up We Love You So Facebook page, to your Twitter account, or to your Instagram account with the hashtag #outdoorsfamilychallenge! At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a copy of Vitamin N to a random participant courtesy of the Children and Nature Network.