Monique is with us today to share some fun outdoor adventures that we can experience with our children… I love the idea of adding the element of trailblazing to our nature walks. It is always that little added novelty that breathes new life and inspiration into favorite family activities.
Exploring nature and collecting nature’s treasures: Two favorite activities of many children and two that I always support for my own. Here are a couple of ways that I enjoy doing just that…
There are a few nearby places with trails that my children enjoy visiting on a regular basis. On a recent hike, my children excitedly forged ahead with eyes fixed on what was immediately in front of them, and soon realized at some point that the trail wasn’t so clear anymore. My husband and I reassured them of their safety and asked them to use their observation skills to get back on track. They scanned the ground for signs of a path and looked for clues further ahead. Then they saw it… a trail blaze on a tree! Their world was suddenly once again navigable.
They were so impacted by the security that the markings provided that we brought that experience home and decided to do a little trailblazing of our own.
After looking at some examples of blazes here and here, each child created their own symbols with a legend of their meanings. They mark paths throughout our yard using their blazes and usually place a “treasure” at the end so that the final destination is clear. They take turns following each others paths by interpreting the symbols. They have so much fun with this activity that they spend half a day doing it.
You can download our blank legend here if you’d like to try it with your children.
Often on our walks or hikes, my children pick up “treasures”, little bits of found nature that they just can’t pass by. We do have a nature table and I rotate the items frequently but I wanted other ways to creatively display and their finds.
Nature weaving is something that my children love to do and when we hang the final product, they know that their collections and interests are being honored. It’s a great way to preserve the memories from a special walk or place.
I wish you and yours many happy hours of collecting and trailblazing!