Story and photos by Corinna Pongracz
It doesn’t matter if it’s spring, summer, fall or winter – as long as it’s not raining, my husband and I love to spend lots of time in the outdoors with our little daughter. We especially have a lot of fun on forest walks because there’s just so much to explore and discover. Keep reading to find out how we make these walks more fun for our daughter too!
Discovering with a magnifying glass
Kids like to discover their surroundings and examine things very carefully. On a walk through the forest, everyone can become an explorer using a special magnifying glass in a mug. This small, translucent mug has a magnifying glass built into its lid, so that you can keep small leaves, flowers, or insects in there for a while to take a closer look at them.
My little one loves ants and really enjoys watching them. With a leaf and a little bit of soil in the mug, she observes them for a couple of minutes, taking closer looks at their legs, head, and so on. We bring her magnifying glass mug on every single walk!
A Game of “Listen!“
This world is loud and hectic but it seems to be completely different in the forest especially. It’s peacefully quiet and time seems to pass slower. To unwind from our bubbly everyday lives, I like to play a game of “Listen!” with my daughter. We’ll just stop somewhere along the way and stay quiet for 1 minute. Afterwards, we tell each other everything we just heard. You can play this game anytime and anywhere. It’s so great to discover all those little sounds that you usually don’t notice!
No matter the season, there’s always lots of amazing things to be found in the forest which you can use for crafting at home: leaves, twigs, acorns, pinecones, moss, pebbles. Just bring a small bag and collect some of each. The collecting alone is such great fun for my daughter, that it doesn’t really matter what we’ll craft at home later on.
Art on Site
Instead of taking all your collected forest treasures home, you can also find a nice spot in the forest and make some art on site. At the wayside or on a tree stub – you‘ll always find great spots to embellish with your landscape art.
I Spy With My Little Eye
Who doesn’t know this game? This is a great game to play at the forest too, even if it can get a little more challenging here. Because who’ll immediately guess what you had in mind when you’re talking about something green?
This game is all about what the forest smells like. Flowers, leaves, wet moss, wood, you name it. Everything somehow has its very own scent, that we’re sometimes unaware of. When’s the last time you really took in the scent of a leaf?
Forests are full of life. Smaller animals like bugs, worms and insects in particular are at home in the forest. Together with your kid(s), keep your eyes peeled for all the things happening around you on your way. Especially tree stubs and stacked pieces of wood are usually swarming with animals. Be careful not to destroy any “insect houses”, but encourage you kid(s) to carefully take a peak under tree barks, leaves etc. It’s always baffling what kind of little crawlers are ready to be found there. My daughter has lots of fun discovering insects and likes to give them funny names too!
Author’s profile: Corinna is a graphic designer, photographer, wife and mom. Her blog knuffelknutscher.de includes fun, honest and creative posts about the wonderful, chaotic, and colorful life as a working mom as well as recipes and craft projects.