Making an Unnature Trail
I try to be a relaxed mother, especially where paint is concerned. We keep the kids’ easel on the porch with the paints out so that they can paint when they want. Occasionally, surprising things have occurred with the paint before I’ve caught on to what was happening, like recently when my four year-old decided to paint little blue splotches all over the yard. Once I figured out that he didn’t paint the porch furniture and it was REALLY just rocks and grass and some of his own toys that my little Picasso had enhanced, my blood pressure went back to normal levels. I actually enjoy his handiwork now and the surprising element of fun it adds.
Basically, he created an unnature trail—hidden splotches of something unexpected that you wouldn’t normally find outside. This is something I used to do when I was a camp counselor in the summers, teaching nature discovery. I would create an “unnature trail” and then have the girls find everything, like a mystery scavenger hunt. Apparently, it is also fun to turn the tables and have the kids set up the unnature trail themselves! Then, of course, you need to find what they’ve done. This is relatively easy if it involves blue paint, but you could pick a more subtle color or element for more challenge.