Take a nature walk, look at all the trees in the area. Each child looks for a tree which is special to him or her.
- Children choose their “special tree”. They can introduce themselves to the tree and tell the tree some special qualities about themselves. Then, they can tell the tree what special qualities they can recognize in this tree. Practice really listening to this tree and try to hear if this tree had a name, what would it be called? Looking deeply at this tree, seeing all its wonderful qualities, the child can then give the tree a name.
- Practice introducing a friend to this tree. Tell all the good qualities of the tree first and why you like it. Save the name as a surprise for later.
- After listening to their tree, children write/draw their tree’s message to the world and share it with the group.
- Children all sit at the base of their trees, listen to messages from their tree and from the stones, insects, moss, bark & leaves in the environs. Write this message on a piece of paper or draw the meaning of the message. Then: mail delivery time! Run to deliver this message to a friend’s tree.
- Tree lemonade meditation – maybe with a buddy (second body). Enjoy sitting at the base of each other’s special tree. Tell tree stories at the foot of their tree or together in the bamboo thicket.
- Pretend to become a tree. Enact getting planted as a seed, slowly sprouting up and unfolding branches. Then growing blossoms and leaves, and perhaps losing leaves in the autumn. Show what happens in a storm: with strong roots (live through the storm) and without strong roots (may get knocked down). Here we can also talk about how we as people also need to have strong roots-in our ancestors-in order to survive our life’s storms.
- Practice tree pose as in yoga. Stand upright on one foot only, the other foot rests on the inside of the standing leg, hands can come together at the heart or with good balance above the head. Notice the difference when you root your foot into the ground (even if you only imagine it). Notice what happens when you fix your eyes on a single point in front of you and concentrate. What happens when you focus on your breath or on your abdomen? When do you have the “best” balance?
- Sing “Standing Like a Tree” song. Encourage the children to take refuge in their tree whenever they need it and to visit it every day. It is a safe place, a place where they can just be, relax, and come back to themselves.
* Collective Project
Make tree cards (drawn or using objects from nature) of all the types of trees in the area. Find out the name and country of origin. Kids can get together and share the information they learned
Filed under: Nature Awareness