Nature Says
Acorns, pine cones, rocks, seeds, leaves, twigs, or any other natural item.

Have the child(ren) gather all natural items in the backyard, or if hiking along the trail. Assign an action to each type of item, such as *rock--jump*, *twig-hop*, etc. Start by showing one object, and the children calling out the associated action, then acting it out. As they catch on, start laying out the items in "sentences" on the ground. Watch the silliness and laughter grow. (Explain to the children that in ancient times children made up games with only natural materials. That there were no TVs or radios, or bikes, etc. Remind them that Nature is not only beautiful, but fun, too.)

Hide and Seek
Rocks and Sticks.

This can be played in the backyard, along a nature trail, or at the beach. First the adult goes down the path and leaves "directions for the children to follow. The directions are made by placing piles of rocks and twigs along the side of the path. Perhaps three rocks and a twig sticking out to the left means that the next clue is three steps forward and to the left. One rock in a circle of twigs could mean to stand still, turn slowly in a circle for the next clue. Next, the child and a second adult start down the path and try to find you. (Explain how the villagers and others would find their way to each other and back home again by leave natural "secret clues" along the various paths.)

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