Simply “Be” with Children

One of the most remarkable things I observed about my sons’ Nature Immersion camp was that there were no books, no toys, no art supplies…there was nature. That is all the children needed…The teacher allowed the children to lead with their interests and used her extraordinary knowledge of plants, animals and the earth to create the most phenomenal experience for children I have ever witnessed.


So, try it, go on a walk, outside. Freaked out? Yeah, me too. Having faith in leaving home with your children without any plans or “things” scares me. Here are a few ideas:

  • Nibble like deer on cedar (it tastes good)
  • Pick berries
  • Play ‘what’s Missing?’ With objects from nature
  • Create a maze, labyrinth or spiral from objects in nature
  • Roll down a hill
  • Stare at the clouds
  • Tell stories
  • Find a sit spot
  • Sing songs
  • Create a home in the outdoors: have your child make their beds, identify a kitchen
  • Make a campfire from sticks and leaves
  • Find a bear cave
  • Find a hill for sliding and a tree for climbing
  • Choose a favorite tree
  • Go to the library and seek reference guides to help you identify the plants and animals
  • Listen to the birds
  • Simply listen to the sounds of the outdoors
  • Play “hide and seek” with animal calls
  • Go barefoot
  • Find a dirt pile and dig
  • Build a tee pee with sticks
  • Go on a Thumbelina Walk: what do you see?
  • Take a close look at rocks: imagine the journey of that rock
  • Make a band with the trees, sticks and other objects around you.
  • Consider placing pony beads, yarn, chalk and glitter out on the trail so the child can decorate his walkway and his sit spot


Feeling inspired? Leave your ideas in a comment!





Founder, Publisher, Writer & Editor at Carrots Are Orange, Inc.
Marnie began Carrots Are Orange in 2010 after the birth of her first son. Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori inspired learning and living blog for parents and educators. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living east of Seattle with her husband and three young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, and


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