Emily Lewis talks to her daughters Ellie and Claire about how being in nature sparks their imagination. (Facilitated by Shawna Prather)Emily L: When I was a little girl I used to love to play in the woods in our house and I had two favorite spots. One of them I called jumping practice and it was a place down in our creek that had a little island that had worn away on either side where the creek had run around a piece of land. And so me and my brothers and sisters would practice jumping to the island and then jumping across to the other side and whoever could jump the farthest won jumping practice. And then my second favorite spot was in our woods we had creeping cedar. And the creeping cedar we used to pretend that fairies lived under the little creeping cedar and that you couldn’t step on it because fairies were underneath and they never knew where they were. And so it was this magical little spot in our woods, the creeping cedar. So at our woods at home, do you guys have a favorite spot?
Ellie L: My favorite spot in the woods, there is an old broken-down tree house that I like to go to and take walks. I like, sometimes I like to step on the steps but then go back down before it falls. I like to sit on the picnic table. I like to explore around it. And I have another favorite spot. There’s a bunch of logs in the woods. So sometimes we just sit on them or we go around them. And there is some moss on there and we jump over them sometimes. We put stuff on them. And there’s one more favorite spot. There’s a tree that we pretend that there’s fairies. We built fairy houses and we make sure the fairies are ok and nobody stepped on them.
Emily L: What about you, Claire?
Claire L: I have three favorite places that I like to go to. First is just my backyard because it’s really fun to play outside because we really live in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes I pretend that—like we have this metal elephant in our backyard and I like to ride on it sometimes and pretend that I’m in the African Savannah. And the second favorite place is in my woods. I like to take nature walks around and play with my friends in there.
Emily L: And you take supplies with you too when you go don’t you?
Claire L: Yeah.
Shawna P: What supplies do you take?
Claire L: I take usually a journal, a water bottle, and a pen.
Emily L: And binoculars.
Shawna P: So tell me what you write about in that journal. Or do you draw?
Claire L: I draw things that I see that I’ve never seen before.
Shawna P: Like what? Can you give me an example?
Claire L: There was some moss on a rock that looked a little like a frog, so I wrote that in my journal. And my third favorite spot is the fairy tree. We do make lots of fairy houses; we have a big bush and we like to cut the tufts off the top of it and use it for little trees in the fairy tree.