Play is one of the main learning tools available to children. Unlike the limited options offered by commercial toys, nature offers an infinity of objects with different textures, shades and possibilities that allow them to experiment and develop their imagination: stones, sticks, leaves, insects, water, seeds ...
The following games are intended for all those who want to experience their contact with the natural environment in an educational way (as well as fun). The current study plans try to give a globalizing and interdisciplinary perspective of reality so that the student is able to face the knowledge and experiences of the environment. Well, it is in nature where you can mostly appreciate that everything, life itself, is closely related. We cannot conceive of a simple daisy without all the elements that surround it. And it is mainly we (Man) who have modified (and in more than one case destroyed) the biological equilibria.
Knowing is loving
That is why it is so important to understand and see how the mechanisms of life (animal and plant) develop. Only in this way can we awaken ecological feelings and respect for them. And the best way to know this reality is starting from our own experiences in a practical way. This is where the game plays a very important role, in its various aspects. What we know by playing (and knowing is learning) will never be forgotten. It is in the capacity of those who direct and organize these activities to get the most out of them, preventing them from becoming simple recreational activities.
The photographic camera
Distribution: In pairs.
Description: After remembering how a camera works, the monitor exemplifies with someone what is going to be done. He / she relaxes and closes his / her eyes. It brings you in front of something interesting. Then it is touched on the head saying "click". At that moment the child opens his eyes for a second (count 1-2) and closes them. Then he goes in front of the group and tells what he saw ("reveals the photo"). He is shown again what he photographed and it is checked whether he got it right. Then we get in pairs: one is the photographer and the other the camera. You can take 4 or 5 photos and comment on them later to the first, who will tell you if they were taken correctly. Then the roles are exchanged. Some types of shots can be suggested (landscapes, close-up of insects, of the earth ...). Try to play the game in silence.
Talk about: Commenting on the experience, did something scare us? Have we been able to go with our eyes closed, trusting our partner. You can end up taking a real photo together. Of course, first we must decide which is the most "photogenic" site.
Make silhouettes of the trees
Environment: Forest or area with varied trees.
Distribution: Sitting in front of someone who keeps it. Age: Game suitable especially for young children. Description: In turn, each child imitates, with their body, arms and legs, the shape of a nearby tree. The others try to find out which tree it is. Then the "actor" repeats it in front of the chosen tree, and receives the applause of his / her classmates.
Talk about: Each species of tree has a characteristic silhouette, do we know any?
Look for one like
Distribution: That allows the vision of the box (it can be done alone, in pairs, in small groups ...) Material: Box or handkerchiefs, objects from the field.
Description: About 10 objects belonging to the environment are secretly collected (stones, seeds, pine cones, branches… and some sign of activity. 45 Small group games Animal or human nature games). Everything is placed in a handkerchief, covered by another, or inside a box. When the children are there, they are allowed to observe everything for half a minute (adapt the time and the number of objects to the age). After this, the objects are covered, and they have a certain time to bring objects similar to those they remember (about 10 minutes). Then one by one is taken out, seeing who has achieved it. Variant: what is missing here ?: The 10 objects are observed. We close our eyes and one of them withdraws. You have to remember which one is missing (if they are very small, do it only with 4 or 5).
Talk about: Tell, if possible, something interesting about each thing (origin, curiosities, uses ...)
There are countless games and activities that facilitate children's contact with nature, but it is no less important to let them play freely and that they themselves invent, imagine, contact, explore, etc. in the way they feel best.
With information from: Games in Nature by Luis Rodríguez Neila