Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.
THE IDEA: Explore shadows – our own and those of natural elements like trees, rocks and flowers.
OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Before heading out, I asked the big explorer if he’d like to go play in the shadows. I had no specific idea what we’d do (I rarely do), but he jumped on the idea and off we went.
Right outside the front door, the big explorer spotted the shadow of the tree in our front yard, which he said reminded him of the pine trees in Yosemite.
We walked and talked for quite a while after that – about how shadows are made, when they can best be seen and how they might differ from the object that casts the shadow.
A couple of blocks from our house, I spotted this one and told him it looked to me like a spider web. He proceeded to “jump” inside and pretend to be a spider crawling around inside the web.
As we continued walking, he pointed out several shadows he found exciting – most cast by road signs and light posts. Then we both stopped in our tracks when we spotted this shadow that looked like a mountain range (cast by rocks edging a garden).
There were also the sweet shadows cast by dainty flowers waiting to be plucked.
When we reached our front yard, I offered to trace the big explorer’s shadow on the sidewalk, something he’d done earlier in the year in school. He followed up by tracing mine.
After that, he starting making shadows of his own – his favorite being this one, which he named “butterfly being still on a flower.”
Provided you try this on a sunny day, you really can’t go wrong. For best results:
- Slow down & enjoy the view. We discovered the coolest shadows when we sat down and looked around. We talked about what we thought the shadows looked like or reminded us of.
- Bring along some chalk. Tracing shadows can be fun, especially for the little ones.
MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
There are still a few more weeks of summer to enjoy (or so the calendar says), even if your little ones have already started school. Some of my favorites from around the web this week:
- Climb a tree
- Start an herb garden
- Go wild blueberry picking
- Create a backyard wildlife habitat, refill your birdfeeders or connect with nature with another of these simple ideas
- Or try one of 50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard
Make fun your top priority this weekend – for you and the kids in your life. Happy exploring!