Children learn about their five senses through experiences. Nature offers many ways to explore our senses — from a soft breeze on our face to the bright red of a flower to the taste of a freshly picked berry. This activity focuses on the rich sounds of nature. Indoor environments are often polluted with a lot of noises, such as televisions and the daily hum of electrical appliances, that are so ingrained in our brains that we don't even notice them. Encourage your child to take in the pureness of natural sounds by focusing on them.

First, locate a nice spot where you can spread out a blanket or towel and take a seat with your child. The deeper into nature you can go, the more natural sounds you'll hear; but wherever you are, I assure you that you'll be able to focus on something. This quiet activity may provide some good snuggle time — feel free to bring along a favorite stuffed animal.

Sit and speak quietly, encouraging your child to listen.

Explain that you're going to create silence, and see what it will bring.

Does silence have a sound? Shhhh. Listen. What do you hear?

Do you hear birds busy in the trees and celebrating spring? How do they sound? Happy? Argumentative? Joyful? Chatty? How many different bird sounds do you hear? Can you see any of the birds?

What else do you hear? Filter through the everyday sounds, and focus only on the sounds of nature. Can you hear wind? Insects? Close your eyes and continue listening to the sounds that silence brings. What sounds of spring can you hear? Water dripping? A breeze whispering through tree branches?

End your quiet time listening to nature by whispering something sweet in your child's ear.

Everyone Has Ears

Make a point of noting the many different types of ears that animals have. Rabbits have tall ears. Birds have tiny holes for ears. Bats often have wide ears. Dogs have lots of different types of ears. Some ears move forward and back. Some remain stationary. Animals in the wild often use their ears to warn them of danger and to communicate with one another.

Jennifer Ward in I Love Dirt!