Entertaining a group of kids of varying ages can feel intimidating. Such was our challenge one weekend in the mountains with friends, our collective broods ranging from 1 to 8 years old. But as it turned out, all we had to do was string up a long stretch of twine between two trees, then give each kid their own piece of twine and to a variety of nature treasures (e.g. sticks, flowers, greens, rocks, etc). Over an entire day, kids collected, selected and arranged objects, decorating his/her own strand of twine that, once all hung from the long stretch, become our nature curtain. The 1-year-old? She had a blast playing with (and taste testing) the rocks at the base of the curtain while watching her elders create.
As the weekend went on, the curtain remained a focal point of play, morphing into a stage for plays and talent shows and then, eventually a demolition site. Since that time in the mountains, we have made many a nature curtain. The making has run from an hour to over the course of a few days. Each curtain is unique and is put to different uses that reflect the kids' interests and imagination. We are never disappointed by how lovely they actually look and how much kids get into making and, often, playing with them.
We think all families should be learning outside. Try this activity with your child and begin to see the power in outdoor, play-based learning. Have fun!Email it to me