Our usual tendency when it’s time to get outdoors is to walk or bike and explore the green spaces and parks of our neighborhood and beyond. It gets us out of the house, providing a change of scenery and of course the possibility of seeing more features and having a grander adventure.
Just in the last week or so though, I’ve realized that there is a little world literally in our own backyard that is also worth exploring and getting to know! Given regular visits and quality time spent back there, I bet we’re more likely to notice seasonal changes and the overall activity and influence of flora and fauna in the smaller confines compared to a larger space. And after all, it’s convenience can’t be beat.
For some reason, when we get back there I feel stifled not having a trail to walk down or something special like a lake or forest of trees to check out. It’s also a possibility that my avoidance has to do with the fact that there is a whole lot of work that needs to happen back there! Either way, I never know exactly how we should be spending our time. Thankfully, Bergen’s (2.5 years old) curiosity came to rescue the other day, and led us to a fun activity or game of sorts.
Things You Need:
- An outdoor space
- Rocks of all sizes
- Hands willing to get dirty
- Extras (but not necessary)
- magnifying glass
- gardening tools
- field guide
1. Find a Rock.
Any shape or size will do. We also found it interesting to check under rocks from different parts of the yard. Rocks that are sheltered from the rain will show different worlds than rocks exposed to the elements.
2. Carefully turn the rock over.
It’s important to go slowly in order to notice what’s happening when the rock is immediately turned over. Don’t forget to look at the back of the rock too!
3. Check out what’s happening underneath!
Look for critters and different plant life. It’s often difficult with a 2.5 year old, but I try to get him to linger a little longer than he’s initially will to in order to see more. We don’t go crazy, but a little digging around is also a great way to discover another creature that may be hiding.
4. Once something is found, take a closer look.
We haven’t brought out the magnifying glasses or bug keepers yet, but have just put different plants and crawlies in our hands and examined them further. It’s also been a great verbal expression activity to talk about the worm, isopod or slug:
5. Put the rock back.
We try out best to leave the little rock world as undisturbed as possible, and make sure that the creepy crawlies get back to the environment where they’d most like to be.
What do you do to enjoy nature in your own backyard? Please share!
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