We read in the news all the time that we are a generation of phones and internet. Any question is answered with a quick tapping of fingertips, amounting to instant gratification.
I personally am grateful that I can look up anything anytime because my job requires me to answer a barrage of gardening questions that has been backed up by research. However, my childhood was spent in the piney woods of east Texas, where we played with sticks, pine cones, vines and the occasional armadillo.
Perhaps I am the last of my kind: A generation that played in the creek, climbed trees and marveled at the little finds in nature but now raise a generation of YouTube stars playing games and music videos.
Now with a little one in my home, I am constantly barraged with questions like “May I have my phone?”; “May I play games on the Amazon Fire?"; “May I watch YouTube videos on the television?”
I hear myself say, “Why can’t you go outside and just play?” She is stunned, taken aback, and replies, “What would I do?”
She is without the comprehension to explore and be outside in nature and this I must change or I will not pass down my love of nature and everything in it.
This weekend, her father and I will guide her on a nature scavenger hunt but will incorporate the phone. We will collect materials from the park and our backyard in a paper bag and bring them home to make a centerpiece. We will print the pictures to put in frames on her bedroom wall. We will ask her to do what we naturally did as kids.
Nature scavenger hunt
- Find three different colors of leaves
- Find a simple leaf
- Find a compound leaf
- Find a pine cone
- Find an acorn
- Take a picture of a spider web
- Find a seed head from a flower
- Find a fallen branch
- Take a picture of a cloud
- Find a round rock
- Look for a bird
- Take a picture of a hole in a tree
- Spy on a squirrel or rabbit
- Find a blooming flower
- Look for a pill bug
- Take a picture of something that smells good
- Take a picture of something that is soft