Welcome back ‘Garden Explorers’. This week we are learning how to carefully watch and listen to nature. It’s an important explorer skill to practice. Have you noticed that away from the traffic noise of cars and planes you can hear more bird song? Maybe you have heard the soft buzz of a bumblebee or how baby bird fledglings squawk and beg for food – they are very noisy!
First, find a special place where you can sit alone surrounded by nature, maybe amongst tall plants, so you feel hidden but safe. Use a mat or blanket to sit quietly. If you sit quietly you will get used to that place and the plants and animals will get used to you.
After a few minutes, take a deep breath though your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat. This helps to relax your body and your thoughts so you can watch nature better. Try closing your eyes for ten seconds and then open them – suddenly everything looks more colourful and brighter. Look around you, just moving your head, keeping your body still. Maybe you’ll notice the movement of a tiny ant, how a flower gently moves in the breeze or spy some treasures you collected on your adventures before. How many colours and different shades of colours can you see?
How many sounds can you hear? Put both hands over your ears and count to 10. Take your hands away and listen – wow, there are sounds all around you. Every time you hear a sound lift up one finger to count them. Now you are listening and concentrating deeply.
Try and map the sounds you hear. Mark an X in the middle of a small piece of paper – this represents you – and use words or symbols to help describe the sounds you hear. Are the sounds near or far, quiet or loud? Which direction? Maybe you can feel the wind on your face or notice the sun warming your back. Then remember to share your sound map with someone and what you have discovered.
Extra explorer challenge:
Try listening to nature at your special sit spot at different times of the day. Listen to the early morning chorus, when birds sing for joy at the start a new day, it’s an amazing experience. Or at dusk when you might be lucky enough to see and hear bats flapping past or a maybug buzz by.
Wishing you lots of magical moments!