Two Great Locations, One Organization

The Gaffield Children’s Garden at Matthaei is hosting weekly hands-on Nature Play Pop-ups this summer. On Monday mornings from 10 – 11:30am, through August 28, volunteers will lead interactive, exploratory nature play activities. These lightly guided activities take place in the nature art area of the Gaffield Children’s Garden. Young children will have hands-on fun while taking
a closer look at nature and parents will leave with easy ideas to encourage creative nature play at home.

No registration. First to arrive, first to play. Kids can join in as spaces open during the 10-11:30 Pop-up. Suggested ages 3-7.
NOTE: All materials stay at Gaffield Children’s Garden unless otherwise specified.

JUNE

June 5: Seashell Dig Digging is satisfying work and we’ve been awarded a prized seashell collection! Use your imagination to pretend you’re on the beach, digging for these beautiful seashells, and wondering about the fantastic creatures who created them. All shells return to the ‘beach’ to be recycled for the next round of diggers.  
June 12: Treasure DigWe are digging again! This time for
buried treasures — artifacts and natural treasures — bring your imagination! (Pond Dipping will be rescheduled as our pond allows.)
June 19: Building Wee Fairy Houses
Volunteers will supply a specially curated supply of fairy house building materials. While building, consider the tiny creatures who might find it a suitable home.
June 26: Bubbles!
Marvelous, magical bubbles encourage even the smallestamong us to consider physics and chemistry. Spend some time with our volunteers creating giant and tiny bubbles!

JULY

July 3: Nature Painting
Paint a nature scene with soft colors made from naturalmaterials: maybe berries, soil, moss. Children and their caregivers can bring home their paintings today.
           
July 10: Digging
Digging is always a favorite. Children and their caregiversare invited to join our volunteers on a digging expedition. Maybe seashells,maybe root vegetables, always satisfying.
July 17: Stacked Stone Towers 
Stacked stone towers have acted as wayfinding markersthroughout history. Young children can try building cairns of their own,developing concepts of pre-physics, pre-geology, and exercising tenacity, too. Easy to replicate at home.
           
July 24: Cutting Garden Bouquets
Curious about the relationship between insects and flowers? Love creating beautiful color combinations? Young children and their adults mayjoin our volunteers in the cutting garden to make a petite bouquet to admire, share, or offer to the fairies in the Fairy & Troll Knoll.
July 31: Insect Clay Play 
Young children and their adults are invited to choose natural artifacts and use them to create insect-themed art. As Chagall once said, “Great art picks up where nature ends.”

AUGUST

August 7: Soil Insect Exploration
If it weren’t for the work of soil dwelling insects, ourearth would be covered in detritus. Children and their caregivers are invitedto examine soil inhabitants in a hands-on digging and sorting activity focused on the helpful soil dwellers.
           
August 14: Leaf Safari
Search for leaves, and make pastel rubbings to highlight the shape and structures of leaf architecture.
August 21: Cutting Garden Bouquets
Curious about the relationship between insects and flowers?Love creating beautiful color combinations? Young children and their adults mayjoin our volunteers in the cutting garden to make a petite bouquet to admire,share, or offer to the fairies in the Fairy & Troll Knoll.
August 28: TBD
             

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