Leaves are falling all around us here at the moment. On the weekend I took the children down to the park for a quick play to burn off a little energy. We took a couple of plastic bags with us on the trip to collect any interesting leaves that caught our eye on the way.
I thought it would be a nice way to pass some time. There are many great developmental advantages to this kind of 'Nature Treasure Hunt". It was something I wanted to do with my children because:
- it slows them down and helps them to be in the moment rather than rushing ahead and just thinking about getting to the park
- it teaches them to look at and appreciate nature and beauty in general
- it gets them talking about colours, sizes and shapes
- it encourages them to think about the seasons and life cycles
- it gets their imagination working overtime. There were many discussions about the shapes of leaves and what they look like - "Look at this one, it looks like a witches hand"
- it adds to creativity as they think about what they want to do with their treasures.
- it's a lovely way to spend a beautiful autumn morning
We had such a lovely time meandering to the park and the walk and search became the main focus of our trip, the fact that we eneded up at the park was just icing on the cake for my two. What would normally be a 10 minute walk took well over half an hour. It's made an impact too. Every walk we've done since then, the kids have their heads down, looking for more treasures. We're yet to decide what we're going to do with our leaves, but I'll keep you posted if anything interesting eventuates.