“Let’s find sea urchin flowers!”

This autumn as chipmunks stash seeds, red squirrels store cones, and beavers stockpile sticks, we can also foster these gathering instincts in children’s play. Hunting and gathering is one of the seven play motifs, or recurring play patterns, that David Sobel has identified from observing children playing freely outdoors around the world. Have you had a rock collection, a jar of fireflies, a bouquet of dandelions, or a pocket full of shells from the beach? 

“From a genetic perspective, we are still hunting and gathering organisms. Gathering and collecting anything compels us; searching for hidden treasure or the Holy Grail is a recurrent mythic form. Look at the success of Where’s Waldo. How do we design learning opportunities like treasure hunts?” –Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators by David Sobel

Here are some books to spark Hunting and Gathering ideas:

What’s in Your Pocket? by Heather L. Montgomery

In a Jar by Deborah Marcero

Acorns Everywhere! by Kevin Sherry

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