Monday, April 8, 2013

101 things to do outside with children #26 go treasure hunting

Ahh, finally the snow is melting. Winter seems to finally be on its way out. This is the perfect time of year to go treasure hunting. There are all sorts of goodies to be found on the ground. Little odds and ends that have fallen down through the snow and settled into the cold, damp ground. Finally they're emerging, and for treasure-hunters, it's as exciting as the green grass, the buds on the trees, and flower shoots coming up from the earth.

Of course, any trip into the woods will yield some special finds: maybe a feather here, an interesting twig there. Perhaps a special rock or pinecone.  If you live near water, you already know the myriad treasures to be found on a beach-especially after a storm. Gray, smooth driftwood, rocks and pebbles polished to a sheen, and tiny fragments of sea glass or agates. And the shells!  There are treasures even in our "urban wild lands" --the muddy puddles, soggy lawns and boulevards, and wet, grassy parks are filled with little finds that are delightful and special.

On a short jaunt through the neighborhood today, we had our eyes peeled. We found all sorts of delightful little things: bits of colored ribbon, tiny scraps of yarn, colorful, shiny sequins and even a small plastic bat. We found about half-dozen beads and some bright blue pieces of plastic in interesting shapes and sizes. There were treasures everywhere, and we filled our pockets little by little as we were out adventuring.

When we returned home, the children immediately staked out a "fairy tree" and proceeded to arrange these offerings around the ground surrounding the tree, in its branches, and among the rocks that encircled its trunk. Their most treasured object, a glimmering pink glass heart, got the place of honor in the tree-up amid the branches.

It will be a joy to see this fairy tree evolve. The children had loads of creative ideas for what sorts of things they'd like to add to the fairy tree. The only rule?  "It has to be something we found in nature"  Luckily my children are pretty loose with their definition of nature, so we can include any and all bits and bobs we find on the ground in our urban wandering! (mud and grass definitely count as nature!)

Stay tuned....I'm embarking on a virtual book tour in just a couple of weeks....many blogs will highlight my "Greener Earth" book, provide a review, or do an activity from the book. I'll post a schedule shortly!

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