- To plant the seed for the fine art of being still, both in nature and within oneself.
- To develop nature observation skills.
Playing with the story:
- Play hide and go seek.
- How many animal, bug and bird friends can you find in your neighborhood?
- Take a walk together. Tell the children that when you give them a special signal—maybe a birdcall, whistle or gentle bell—they immediately sit down where they are. Then they are to be quiet and see what they see, and hear what they hear!
- Search together until you find a cricket, a bug, a slug, or any other creature. When everyone has had an opportunity to observe this new friend, tell the children it needs to be returned to where it was found. Can they remember where that was? Did they notice anything special about the place where it was found? Did it live there, or was it just passing by? Did it blend into its surroundings? Why?
- How many of the animals in the story live near you?
- How close can you get to wild animals without scaring them?
Special note: If a child is throwing tantrums or generally having a hard time (maybe because he or she wants to squish, trap or keep some bug, bird or animal), tell this tale with gentle emphasis on being still, and breathing slowly and deeply. This often has a calming effect.
About the story: This story is from Tales From Earth to Sky, told & sung by Wendolyn Bird. It was inspired by the book Play With Me, by Marie Hall Ets. You can purchase Wendolyn’s book and CD of 11 stories and accompanying songs here.