The Beauty of Nature Activities
Summer is in full swing and we’re all spending time outdoors. Here in the west, while enjoying hiking trails, pathways, streams and the like, children and adults often stop to leave little “gifts” for others in the form of little rock sculptures. Piles of stones and pebbles cause us to pause and play, arrange and balance, take notice and contemplate. Locals refer to these impromptu works as Eco-Art- designs and compositions that consist of the natural materials at hand. Sand castles are one form, flower crowns another.
These temporary works of art will return to their natural states courtesy of nature, or may be transformed by the next artist who happens by. We feel experiences like these provide a wonderful opportunity to talk about and reinforce the process of creating art, rather than focusing on the end product. At the same time, using natural materials in their natural environments offer you and your children a way to connect with one another and the elements we all share.
Questions to Ponder
What do you do to “bring” your art back home or into the classroom? Are the children given cameras to use? (appropriate use of technology) Do they use paper and pencil to sketch their creations? (writing, drawing and drawing to learn) Is the work represented in new forms with other indoor materials? (connecting experiences) Are there stories that are inspired by it or the experience of creating it? (literacy and dramatic play) How are the children involved in transforming their works in new ways? (creativity) Is the indoor work just as ecologically minded as the outdoor work? (care for the planet)
Something as simple as balancing stones can be extended through your suggestions and guidance. It’s summer, get out there, find a pile of pebbles and let your artistry do the rest!
What kind of local nature activities do you and your children enjoy? We’d love to share your photos and stories with others and hear your thoughts about how your work leaves a minimal footprint, but a lasting impression.