Joseph Cornell, a nature educator, recommends opening kids’ eyes by taking them on a micro-hike. All you’ll need is a 3-inch piece of string, a magnifying glass, and some open ground.
Ask your child to lay out a “trail” for the hike with the string. Then hand her the magnifying glass. Say, “I want you to use your imagination to shrink yourself down to the size of an ant. Don’t allow your eyes to get more than one foot above the ground.”
Then let your child observe the natural wonders available in even a tiny spot of earth. They may see “grass blades bent by rainbow dewdrops, colorful beetles sprinkled with flower pollen, and powerful-jawed, eight-eyed spiders,” Cornell says.
Ask some questions to get your children’s imaginations going: “What kind of world are you traveling through right now? Who are your nearest neighbors? Are they friendly? What is that spider going to do?”
Careful observation is essential for science and for writing. Because precise observation also leads to detailed descriptions, you may want to challenge your child to write a story about your micro-hike.
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