It's still January, so I think it's still okay to talk about New Year's Resolutions. This year, one of mine was: to do more to notice and celebrate the seasons.
At this time of year it's all too easy to feel gloomy and feel like the outside world is looking unchanged for weeks and weeks. It's still cold, the sky is still grey, the trees are still bare. We might notice big, dramatic things like high winds, icy roads and torrential rain.
But by taking a bit more time, and looking a little closer, we can notice tiny things that mean that the seasons are marching forwards - and these can really cheer you up!
Being outdoors with a child, with no rush or set destination, really helps you notice these little things - children are very observant, and being closer to the ground, they often spot things like tiny shoots of plants coming up, interesting fungi, or ground dwelling creatures.
At our woodland the children have already spotted the bluebells beginning to pop out (as well as the signs of badgers digging up the bulbs! The children chose to carefully replant some this week) and picked out changes in birdsong. They’ve also noticed beech leaves curled up ready for spring, and even a caterpillar.
One idea we use in the woods to help us notice little changes in nature is Sit Spots. This involves choosing a place which you / your child feels comfortable sitting, outdoors. You could take a camping or exercise mat to sit on if you wish. Simply sit, listen and watch. Visiting the same place again and again, you will really get to know it and be able to notice the plants, animals and seasons.
Here’s to 2018 - and noticing the little things!
If you’d like to notice and celebrate the seasons with your children in 2018 you can join us for our Forest Families sessions and seasonal Festivals - we’ve just put them on our booking calendar. You can book here.