Sometimes just the idea of organizing an outing is what stops us from getting out there. The planning, the packing of snacks, the negotiating of nap times to make sure everyone is rested and happy... the locating of shoes, jackets, water bottles and favorite stuffed animals that are not to be left behind... the finding of car keys... Although well worth the effort (nothing can replace the wonder of exploring new places), all of these little things can sometimes add up to too much when you only have an afternoon to explore.
For those days, there is the Micro Hike. Taken from a page of Joseph Cornell's classic book Sharing Nature with Children, a micro hike is the perfect way to get out there and explore with little to no planning... well maybe you still need to find your keys.All you need for this activity is right outside your front door, the key is just to look at everything closely. Each flower and branch. Every leaf on the ground and bird in the trees. If you have a magnifying glass, even better (but not necessary!). You'll be amazed at what you can see in a simple trip around the block or a walk to the park. Here are a few (we actually took over 100, but that would be a bit much to show here!) of our photos from a trip around three city blocks last weekend.