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Day 20: Sit spots and a nature riddle

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature riddle

What large bird reminds us that spring is on the way when we see them flying overhead in a classic V formation, headed north? Click here to read more about this bird.

Sit spots

Spring is a great time to watch the woods come alive! Birds are building nests, trees are starting to grow buds and leaves and you might see some early flowers like daffodils or crocuses starting to come up in your gardens. Since there is so much to notice, this is a great time to go outside and do something called a sit spot.

Find a comfortable outdoor spot to sit. For about 10-20 minutes, try to stay as quiet and still as you can and use all your senses (well, maybe not taste) to observe the world around you. After a person walks through a natural place, the birds and animals often go quiet in order to stay safe, and it takes about 10-20 minutes for them to start making noise again. If you can stay quiet and still for this long, you might be surprised by all the things you will hear and see!

While you’re doing your sit spot, try to count how many different sounds you can hear. Can you hear bird calls? How many different ones? Can you hear small animals running around in the leaves? What do you think they might be doing? Can you hear wind in the trees? A car passing by on the road? Try closing your eyes to help you really focus on listening.

Bring along a journal or a piece of paper and write or draw about what you noticed in nature and what you noticed about yourself. Did you hear more at the end of the sit spot? Did you find it hard to stay really still? Did you hear a sound you weren’t expecting to hear? If you’d like, share your writing with us by emailing it to outreach@hhltmaine.org.

This activity idea submitted by Emma Levy.

Nature Day Camp (Courtney Cronin photo)