Do you know Meet a Tree? The exercise where you blindfold one kid and their buddy leads them to a tree. Then, after the blindfolded is removed, the child goes and finds their tree. Yawn.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen kids enjoy this. I believe they do get some value out of it. I also believe that many outdoor educators abuse this like they do all other stock and file-card activities. It’s something for kids to do. It’s in the nearly official Environmental Educator’s Game Guide.
I’m an animal tracker. I teach it to both kids and adults. I use all my facilities and gut instincts to follow bears, cougars and bobcats across epic landscapes. I deftly understand the reasoning behind sensory based curriculum. It’s great that these kinesthetic activities begin to receive more and more credibility in a world of water quality testing and DBH. Unfortunately any game or activity can also be a crutch for educators. (more…)