Discovery Class heard a story about bower birds, who build colorful, creative nests.
The children then created their own creative nests
The Treasure Hunters class explored the idea of play in nature.
They acted out different animals for others to guess in a game of "animal charades".
And enjoyed singing some songs about animals, too.
The youth group learned a little about bicycling, another way to experience joy in nature!
Here are a few ideas for extending the learning at home:
Go for a family bicycle ride, hike, or other outdoor activity.
Visit a zoo, aquarium, farm, or other site that keeps animals. Specifically watch for animals that are playing. Notice with your child how they play. Do they play with each other? Do they use objects as toys? Is it hard to tell the difference between playing and fighting? Do the animals appear to experience happiness? Ask the people responsible for the animal's daily care whether they think animals experience joy while they are playing.
Go for nature walks and pause often to observe any living beings you encounter. Look for insects, birds, and mammals. Talk with your child about what you see them doing. Are they gathering food? Creating shelter? Fighting or threatening one another? Playing? Hiding from you? What behaviors do you notice that help you tell the difference? Select an animal that interests your child and research it together in books and online. Find out how this animal plays and how playing is beneficial for it.
Go on a birding expedition, if possible, in a local nature preserve. Look for nests and notice how they are constructed and the materials used. Try to identify the different songs and sounds that local birds make. At home you can learn about identifying birdsong online at the Nature Songs website.
Learn together about creativity and intelligence as it is expressed in nature. Read books such as What Does the Cros Know? The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence by Margery Facklam. On YouTube, watch a video of the Satin Bowerbird or the painting elephants of Thailand.