Alternate Activity 3: Appreciating Nature Indoors
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Selection of natural items
- Drawing paper on clipboards, and art materials such as chalk, pastels, color pencils, markers, or watercolors (and brushes)
- Optional: Soft sculpture clay
Preparation for Activity
- Gather natural items. You may choose a theme such as fruits and vegetables, flowers, seashells, or seeds and pinecones, or an eclectic arrangement. Be sure to include stones.
- Choose a place to display the natural items, where everyone can see them.
- If you have enough space and/or a very large group, set clusters of items at several areas. Arrange the natural items, or plan to have the children arrange them.
Description of Activity
Drawing or painting an object requires careful attention, yet when we relate to something by drawing or painting it, we can truly connect with its beauty.
Indicate the arrangements of natural objects (or, ask the children to arrange the items themselves). Distribute drawing/painting materials, and give children time to draw an arrangement, or even just an interesting part of it.
Feel free to talk a little bit about the items. For example: "Isn't it amazing that gorgeous, deep purple eggplants, cheerful rounded red apples, and mysterious complicated pinecones all look so different and yet have the same function for the plants they came from: to protect its seeds?" Wonder at the different kinds of seeds in nature, and the variety of ways seeds are "packaged" in plants.
Afterward, ask the children if they saw the objects differently because they were trying to draw them. Cut open some of the fruits and let the children see for themselves the different arrangements of seeds inside. Do they notice designs or patterns? Ask if they ever have noticed the beautiful arrangements of fruits and vegetables if they have had a chance to go food shopping.
Including All Participants
Offer soft clay to a kinesthetic learner who might prefer to sculpt or a child with visual impairment who might like to explore and represent the arrangements in a tactile way.