Every garden has mysteries, especially in the spring. You and your child can seek and find these mysteries together in your back yard or just walking the dog. Do this once and you will see things you never noticed before. Do it once or twice a week for a month and you will see spring silently transforming the earth .
Try and do the same route each time. There is so much now, if you look closely. Children are closer to the ground so it is easier for them. Yesterday, walking my dog in Sag Harbor I saw:
- The first dandelions
- Red berries left from the fall
- Budding daffodils
- Purple vinca creeping
- Daylily and tulip leaves budding out
- Swelling hydrangea buds
- The first white magnolia on the block
- A deliciously smelly skunk cabbage
- Robins singing their hearts out
- Onion grass in clumps ( also smelly and edible)
If you can, dedicate a small notebook to these walks. Talk about what you see and the child sees. Pick a sample. Smell it. Tear it apart with your fingers if you know the plant. All the kids like to dissect things…so take apart a leaf bud or a common flower bud. What is in there?
Do pencil drawings of something your child sees that is interesting to them. Or let them take a picture or two with your phone. Send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag them with @cmeegram and we’ll share them with the rest of the CMEE community.
You’ll be surprised with how nice this activity is. You can follow up with a quick trip to “Professor Google” to see what you found. Or if you have nature guides at home, see if your sample is listed. But mostly, relax into the now. The noticing you do together will be with them forever.