Fall has its own special treasures and a fall nature treasure hunt comes with some we don’t see, like a connection to nature and golden feel-good moments.
On a scavenger hunt, there is usually a list of things to find. These could be specific items like pine cones and seeds, or things to go with each color. On a treasure hunt, kids get to choose what they think has a special value. It isn’t always the same as what grownups choose, that’s for sure.
On a fall treasure hunt, kids find obvious items like leaves, pine cones, rocks, seeds, dried grass, feathers, and late flowers. These are the nature items. Little Sister found some bits of shiny paper and a piece of orange tape. To her, these were valuable too.
Big Sister collected her items all in one place and used them to make some nature art. She carefully placed the pine cones and rocks in a design and used a stick to make lines in the soft dirt. Little Sister just collected. How children play and interact reflects their personalities as well as their age.
Whatever kids do, the nature treasures are part of the gold of the moment. Time in nature feels good on so many levels. Physically, our bodies respond to the sun, the warmth of the earth, and the air. We can stretch out kinks and warm our muscles. Emotionally, nature absorbs stress. Life has lots of moments that create anxiety for kids. They have to cope with a great deal of confusion and frustration as they figure out the world and the people around them. Mentally, nature seems to calm our worries. No wonder nature is so special.
Time in nature is a treasure for all of us. Although nature has a definite schedule and cycle, it is also timeless. Is there space in your child’s day for a fall nature treasure hunt and playtime?