These days, unable to explore and go on trips as much as we usually did pre-Covid, the backyard garden is a piece of heaven. There is an almost-too-small- swing which my kids always gravitate to. They sometimes set up a table and some chairs then pretend to have a tea party or they lay out a blanket where they relax and enjoy their snacks. I try to join when I can. When I do, my favorite thing to do is watch the birds flutter about the trees or spot the many different flying insects that circle the lawn. It’s quite surprising to discover the variety of wildlife that thrive in and frequent this small patch of green.
A few weeks ago, I came up with an idea to help my daughters explore the garden with a little more challenge and excitement by making another set of activity zines which I titled “Garden Walk”. I posted about a similar project some time last year and how my kids are so fond of them. This seems a good time to make some more.
The Garden Walk zine contained activities that prompted them to pay more attention, look closer and get creative. I used some of our handmade paper as covers, sewed the pages together and simply drew and wrote the contents by hand. Truly DIY!
If you’re interested in making your own version, feel free to grab ideas from this. Here are the activities I included in the ones I made:
• Activate The Senses — Write “I see…, I Hear…, I Feel…, I Smell” with a bit of illustration and make the kids fill them up with their own answers in writing or drawing.
• Garden Scavenger Hunt — a checklist of different things for them to find in the garden with a space for them to tick and draw what they find (Ex: something yellow, an insect, a flower).
• Paste and Copy — in one or two pages, make the kids pick a fallen leaf and/or flower. Tape it on the left side page of the booklet, then on the right side page, ask them to copy the leaf or flower they picked.
• Nature Collage — ask the kids to pick up and collect different elements from the garden like dried leaves, twigs, flowers, etc. Dedicate a whole page where they can create a collage out of the elements they collected. They can make an image of something or an abstract piece.
Working on these activities with the kids turned out to be a really pleasant morning together. We took about half an hour walking around the garden, observing, listening, scribbling and drawing. The backyard garden we were all too familiar with quite suddenly appeared to us in a whole new light, just because we paid more attention to the small things.
Do you like this idea? Would you like to try it out with your kids or maybe just for yourself? It doesn’t have to be a garden walk, it can be a kitchen walk or even a neighborhood drive by! Go ahead, make your very own and explore the spaces around you anew.