Elise, my special needs student leads the way – she knows the path well now, jumping over boulders and large roots.
Children are natural explorers
We walk slowly observing and listening. We climb the rocks and jump over driftwood and experiment with sticks, rocks, pinecones and the frost. We say thank you for all the natural items we collect and gather only what we need.
Jingle Bells and Wire Fish
It was bitterly cold this week but after walking and jumping, we had warmed up and found a sheltered spot away from the nippy wind.
We begin our fish mobiles – exploring the wire, how it bends and moves, we then make it into a fish shape.
We thread beads and add cones and bells to our mobiles.
Elise loves cutting, we used wire cutters-a little more challenging to use than scissors.
Team work is needed to attach the fish to the driftwood
Once completed, Elise asked my fish if it would like to play…
We took our fish to play at the water. An opportunity to discuss why no fish were hanging out near the surface of the lake. The fish tend to be less active in the cold, taking a winter rest, deep down in the lake, where it is slightly warmer.
We both agreed we were luckier than the fish because we could dress up warm and still play outdoors!
What else can we make jingle?
We gather a few more pinecones and pine needles gifted from our giant friends the Ponderosa Pines.
By enabling children to explore, and to gather from, the natural world, they can touch, hold, feel and respond to things, in an intimate and personal way.
Elise finds another piece of driftwood and uses it to poke at the rocks and pebbles, looking for tiny cones.
Math and science, language and storytelling are all part of our magical time in nature.
We count our cones, we measure our pine needles to make our stars, we explore textures, sounds and smells. The sounds of the water, the jingle of the bells, the rocks as they splash into the water, the whispering wind…
Gaining a sense of belonging to, and with, these items, and the environment in which they were found, the children gain confidence to explore further and create something new from what they have found.
In providing opportunities for your students to create nature art, you are gifting rich and meaningful experiences that widen, deepen and enrich the students learning process.
Children of all ages need to be provided with opportunities to be creative and inventive with natural items found in nature. And if we cannot get into nature, we can at-least bring nature to the children.
Great satisfaction and joy are experienced through simply making.
Holding onto her nature mobile, Elise Jingles and giggles all the way back up the track.
Let’s Make Nature Play Every Day
I invite you to join us at Educating the Heart for our Nature Art Program – a nature-based program designed for educators, parents and individuals wishing to rekindle their own personal love affair with the natural world and reawaken the artist within.
“Nature itself provides the best university for learning, but our senses must be reawakened first.” – Thom Henley, Rediscovery
Throughout the 12 chapter program you will learn how to actively engage children with nature through meaningful and soulful art projects, planting seeds that lead to a life long journey of love and compassion. Foster creativity and imagination, nurturing the unique spirit of each child.
A few testimonials from teachers who have completed the online program…
The past months I have spent discussing, reading and creating have been such a joy. So much compassion has been put into each chapter. During a time of electronic popularity, it is so importrant to take children outdoors!! These tools are great just for that – taking the children outside to learn about nature and to create with nature. Every lesson that I have taught inspired by your Nature Art chapters have been a fantastic success with my students. Not even the product of what we are creating, but the overall process. They have so much fun with each lesson I share. They are not only learning about new ways to interact with nature, but also how to respect the world around them. Thank you for all that you do!!! – Erin Glynn – Montessori Teacher – USA
My last chapter – I look forward to travel through its pages in a world that boosts my imagination and creativity. The journey with the nature art program had been a unique opportunity for me to reconnect with my holistic self and even if i will go through my last chapter soon, i deeply feel that this connection is only the beginning of a great journey in life. Thank you for reminding me the fundamental values of life, the values of love, gratitude, appreciation, oneness with nature and universe. – Theodora – Preschool teacher from Greece teaching in Sweden
Wishing you a magical and creative weekend, love and gratitude Marghanita x