|Age Range||3-5 (PreK-K), 5-8 (grades 1-2), 8-11 (grades 3-5)|
|Group Size||small (1-5), medium (6-20)|
|Setup Time||medium (6-30 min)|
|Duration||medium (11-30 min)|
|Subjects||nature, hike, senses|
|Materials||backpack, color swatches, shape finders, blindfolds|
|Presentation Style||active, interactive|
Sensory hike includes 7 fun activities to do while hiking between two places in nature. Feel textures of plants, listen to sounds, meet a tree and more!
- Students will use their senses to be better acquainted with their environment.
- Students will see how diverse and beautiful the world is.
- Students will see more by focusing their senses to become more aware of what is around them.
- Students will learn to used there own body to explore.
This Is How You Play
Meet a Tree
- For this activity you need a blindfold for every other child. This activity is also a good team building activity.
- Put the kids in pairs. Blindfold one child.
- The blindfolded child is lead by their partner to a tree. The blindfolded kid feels with their hands, and tries to learn as much about the tree’s texture, size, and leaves.
- The partner then leads the blindfolded one away.
- After the blindfold is removed, the child must find their tree by remembering details about the tree.
- Partners switch jobs.
- Hand out one color swatch to each child.
- Have student look for their color in nature.
- As you walk start touching different leaves.
- Invite kids to touch, too.
- Make comments like- this one feels like sandpaper, this one feels fuzzy, this one is very stiff.
- See how many textures you can find and compare them to things the kids are already familiar with.
- Make sure not to feel Poison Ivy or cactus!
- This is very similar to Leaf Textures. As you walk along pick a leaf and rub it between your fingers. Invite kids to smell and think of things that smell similar to it. Many plants have odors for example juniper smells very piney. Argarita berries smell like lemon. Wild onions grow in the preserve. For this activity scout out some odorous plants before hand.
- For this activity you need a 3” x 5” piece of cardboard with a shape cut out to make a window for each kid or pair of kids. Shapes that work well are circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, hearts, and diamonds.
- Hand out the shape finder. Have the kids hold finder about a foot away from their face and see if they can find a matching shape on the hike.
Fist Full of Sounds
- For this activity you need the kids to sit down.
- Have the kids close their eyes, and every time they hear a sound pit a finger in the air.
- After 1 or 2 minutes, have them open their eyes to see how many things, and what they heard. Many times if the kids are quiet a bird will start singing or you will notice a bird far away singing with a bird near by. There are many sounds that we are so used to that we tune out, for example cars, and planes. It is interesting to notice how noisy people as a whole are.
Native American Walk
- Native American Walk is a good follow up to Fist Full of Sound. Kids become suddenly aware of how noisy crunching and shuffling shoes are. Animals hear us long before we arrive and our chances of seeing them is very small.
- Native Americans when hunting walked on the ball of the foot, and carefully chose where to place the foot.
- Have the kids try walking silently, as you continue down the path.
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