Lately I have been reading a lot about 'nature deficit disorder' which is a term which describes children who spend too much time indoors, removed from direct experience with nature. The following are some activities to get your child outdoors, exploring and working with natural objects.
Rocks are a great source of entertainment in our house-hold. Once collected on a walk (or pinching them from the neighbours driveways in our case), activities can involve cleaning with a bowl of soapy water, then sorting into sizes, shapes and colours.
You can ask your child to experiment with rocks- to rub them on a hard surface (concrete), drawing into the dirt with them, making patterns in the earth, or try carving into a soft piece of wood with it. You can also encourage your child to make a fairy house in the back-yard, or create an entire stone village.
Rocks collected on a walk (or driveway in our case)
Small plank of wood
For this project Finn used PVA glue and a small paintbrush to create his rock sculpture. He spent a long time painting the glue to the rocks and deciding on placement. Once dried your child can or add feathers, shells other natural materials, or can even paint it with acrylic paints (adding a new dimension, as rocks have many sides and surfaces and no two are the same).