Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Every couple of weeks I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the world!
Often, when I come in from a walk, I have a pocketful of rocks, moss, feathers, leaves—anything that has caught my eye while out walking and playing in nature. I have a shelf full of treasures from these times outdoors. While putting my latest acquisitions on the shelf I wondered, “Which item would I have chosen if only one item could be brought home?” So, I set myself the challenge of “just one.” And now I pass that challenge on to you.
Before you head out for a hike, a walk or an exploration, tell everyone in the group that they can bring home only one treasure. If they find a rock they like and already have something in their pocket, they must chose which treasure they like better and then let go of the other. To help make the choice, ask yourself: What makes an item special? What sets it apart? Why did it catch my eye in the first place? What do I appreciate about it. Why do I want to make it mine?
* For an even more difficult challenge, bring home “just one” item for the entire group.