Hi Nature Lovers,
An afternoon spent exploring nature is such a TREAT and, if you get to spend it with 11 curious naturalists, it's even BETTER! The first days of summer call all of our senses to attention. Biting into a fresh strawberry or smelling a new rose blossom can bring us such joy. This past nature exploration helped us focus on how our senses makes us FEEL. Can we use our time outdoors to make us feel better?
As we greeted each friend in our circle, the group discussed how our body offers us ways to connect and delight in the world around us through our five senses. When we discover a smell, sound, texture, flavor, or color we enjoy, it can boost our energy, attention span, and mood. The challenge for this walk: find objects in the park using all five of our senses that make us feel HAPPY. With an enthusiastic agreement to accept this challenge together, we gathered our gear and entered the wilds of Prospect Park.
Immediately upon entering our special trail, we heard gentle bird calls, enjoyed the sun filtering through the tree tops, and received the opportunity to caress a fresh mushroom growing on a log. Our relaxing destination remained ahead of us: a Linden tree with sweeping branches perfect for eating our snack under! In June, Linden trees (also known as Basswood or Tilia) all over NYC burst with the sweetest blossoms and will stop any urban explorer in their tracks. Under this gorgeous tree right off the Long Meadow of Prospect Park, the group relaxed, ate snack, and sipped on iced Linden Flower tea I prepared before the walk. Summer perfection!
After snack we sketched and journaled about our sensory experience in the park. We made our way back to our adults pretending to be a flock of birds, moving and flowing through the park together. I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday afternoon.
CONNECT & EXPLORE
Connect with your child and the vibrant city around you by discovering a smell, sound, taste, texture, and sight that makes you smile. Discuss the details of the sensory experience and why it makes each of you feel a certain way. Does it bring back a memory of a time, place, or person? Create a sensory MAP of your neighborhood! What corner has the sweetest smelling flowers? What street has the delightful red brick building that makes your family giggle?