Using “Your Beautiful Journey” Activities

Before you go on your outdoor walk with children, ask them what they think it means to take a journey. Consider all their ideas carefully.

Children don’t always understand what adults mean when they use the word “nature.” Asking children what they think they might find if you take a journey together to look for nature might lead to some interesting and important discussions!

Help children be very thoughtful about what they consider “beautiful.” Discuss together how people experience beauty in many different ways.

Encouraging children to express their appreciation for beauty through movement, dance, drawing or painting will help them develop a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Map-making is a valuable activity for children even as young as age three. Encourage children to make maps any way they choose, and resist the temptation to give too many ideas of your own. Listen to children describing their maps. Sometimes a simple mark on a piece of paper (or a line drawn in sand) may have great significance for children in representing an experience they had on their journey.

Your Beautiful Journey (part one)

First, go on a walk outside to look for nature. What do you see?

  • Flowers 
  • Grass
  • Trees
  • Clouds
  • Rocks

Can you make your body into the shape of the cloud, tree, grass, flower, rock or whatever you found?

Now listen for the sounds of nature. What can you hear?

The wind blowing? Birds chirping? Rain drops?

Can you make your body into a shape that reminds you of the sound you heard? Use your imagination for this. You can do it!

Your Beautiful Journey (part two)

Think again about something from nature that you saw on your journey. Can you make a picture of it? Use your picture to show other people why it is beautiful.

Will you use paint? Will you draw in sand or dirt with a stick or your finger? Will you draw with pencil on paper?

Now, can you make a map of your journey? Show the places you stopped along the way to see or hear beautiful parts of nature. Use your imagination and create your map any way you want!

Talk About It

Help children think about the importance of taking good care of the natural world so everyone will always be able to appreciate its beauty. Talk about things people sometimes do that can make the natural world less beautiful. (Examples: littering, damaging trees, walking on flowers, etc.) Ask children to think about something you can create in your home or classroom to show people the beauty and wonder and importance of nature.

Ideas

There are many ways you and your children may decide to display the wonders of nature:

  • Display nature items around your classroom, school or home.
  • Display artwork that celebrates the wonders of nature.
  • Display favorite books or photographs that show the beauty and diversity of the natural world. You can receive free photograph posters from Good Planet.

“Children can learn many different things about natural environments. They can learn about nature as a “resource” to be used; they can learn that air, water, and sunlight are important to living things; and they can learn that elements of the natural world can be grouped into different categories, such as living and nonliving.

But the most important things that young children can learn about the Earth is that it is full of beauty and wonder. It is a sense of wonder that will serve as the strongest incentive to save Planet Earth. It is also a sense of wonder that will add immeasurably to their enjoyment and appreciation of life.”

Ruth Wilson, from her book, Nature and Young Children

Positive Messages to Share

When you help people really notice the beauty in nature, you help them remember to take good care of our natural world.

Creating pictures, photographs, displays or sculptures is a good way to help people remember the wonders of nature.

When you remind people not to litter or damage trees or flowers, you are helping keep our world beautiful.

*Content of article adapted from worldforumfoundation.org/nature, A toolkit for Early Childhood Programs

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