We are now in the heart  of fall, a beautiful season!
Today’s activity is so simple you will wonder why you hadn’t thought of it…
or maybe you have!  yea! 
Grab a basket, shopping bag or some type of container with handles. 
 Grab a coat and bug spray, if needed, and head outside.
Older children may want to decide before going outside what they will look for.  However, spontaneous observation is a great skill to practice that will serve children well in all areas of their lives… at school, in play and later in the work force.
You have now taken on the role of a Nature Detective
Here are some ideas to prime your detective skills. 
1.  How many treasures can you find?
2.  If you find leaves as one of your treasures, what shapes, sizes, colors and textures did you collect?
3.  How many colors can you find?  Are they the same colors as during summer, spring or winter?
4.  Today pick up only red leaves.  Next trip out, pick up only yellow leaves.  The following day
     look for only orange leaves.  etc. 
5  What does the air smell like?  Does it smell the same as summer, spring or winter air?
6  What animals/birds do you see?  What are they doing? Why?
7  How does the air feel?  Is it the same or different from summer air? How?
8  What does the sky look like? 
9  Are there clouds in the sky?  If so, can you find shapes hidden in the cloud formations?  If you found a shape, how long does it stay in that same shape?  Does it stay the same or change?  Why?

Photo Source:  Hidden Splendor ©

Can you find the heart?

After your nature detective activity, why not extend the play inside.  Draw pictures of what you saw, make up or write stories about your adventure and discoveries.  Bring some treasures inside  and turn them into an art/craft project or use as a decoration for the holidays.  Study your treasures with a magnifying glass, microscope and/or flashlight.

This is just the beginning!  There are many more things to observe and investigate outside.
What else can you come up with?

Inspired by the book:

Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes: 

Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share

by Becky Baxa
Available from http://www.Amazon.com
in both paperback and electronic versions
Blog posts are many times an extension of this book. 
We started at 500+ and are counting upward and onward!

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