Without a functioning recycling system where we live, I tend to hoard recyclables in hopes of putting them to good use at some point. Tin cans, cardboard flat packs, paper rolls, glass milk bottles… You name it, we’ve got it.
In honour of Earth Day, Miss G and I took to the streets of our neighbourhood for a little spring-themed natured hunt today. It was the perfect way to spend our afternoon…soaking in some sunshine, taking in the fresh air, and observing the nature around us a little more closely than we usually do.
Beforehand, while Grae was napping, I gathered up a few things… A muffin tin to serve as a collection receptacle, a print out of nature item tags sized to fit in the bottoms of muffin cups, some scissors, and some tape.
In order to create my tags (which were printed on paper from our recycling bin…hence the holes), I simply created 12 circles sized to fit in our muffin tin (4.5 centimetres in diameter for ours), found some clipart via Google Images, and added some text.
Then I printed them off, cut them out, and stuck them into the bottoms of the muffin tin cups with small pieces of rolled tape.
When Gracen woke up, she was eager to get outside and get searching. We quickly went over the items we’d be on the lookout for and headed out. First stop? The backyard to see if there were seeds underneath our plum tree. Sure enough, there were!
Dandelions and grass were easily collected in our yard, and then it was off down the street to one of the few trees that still has blossoms on it.
After each new find, Grae would take inventory, decide on a couple of new things to focus on, and head in a particular direction.
This time she decided we’d better head back to the backyard to collect some flower buds, moss, and soil from the garden – success!
One of our last stops was to collect a few clovers from a little patch growing through some brickwork in the front of the house.
At this point, we had done pretty well, but as hard as we’d looked, we hadn’t yet found a mushroom or a feather.
We decided we’d take a little break in order to some sidewalk chalk art, and Gracen would ask Papa to take her out again once he returned from work for the evening. Low and behold, they returned with the entire tray full!
Gracen really enjoyed this activity and we’ll definitely be using the muffin tin method in games and hunts in the future. It gave a clear visual of what was needed and what had been found, our items stayed in place and were organized, and Grae really liked everything having its own spot and filling up the entire tray.