Lots and lots
One of the things I like to find on outdoor excursions with both younger and older children is lots/a bunch of/a whole mess of just about anything. I usually mean nature things but other items will do. I get excited about finding lots of something because there are creative possibilities with all of these ‘things’.
We have found mounds of acorns, acres of dandelions, seeds of all kinds, leaves (of course), branches (especially after this last Halloween snow storm), dried mushrooms on the sides of dead logs, shadows, fallen stems, fallen petals, stones, loose bark, clay in the stream, snow, puddles, sawdust, cool litter and more.
After discovering a whole lot of something, you can plan together with your child the kinds of creations you can make with these treasures. Simply asking “What can we make with all these acorns/twigs/pebbles?” can inspire an outdoor project. Some of our past creations have included:
bark spirals around a tree
a snowball garden