Gray Squirrels 2017-18: Week 6 - Blindfold Caterpillar & Swamp Explorations
We had so much fun enjoying this unseasonably warm weather at the end of November! It was so warm, there were even mosquitos buzzing around! The leaves are falling and the woods are full of a beautiful rainbow of colors!
This week we explored our sense of hearing through some fun games that challenged ALL of our senses. This often takes the form of using blindfolds. Humans are such visual creatures that by wearing a blindfold, we are forced to explore our less-dominant senses in a really interesting, and sometimes intense way. At Nature Connect, we do this through fun games that challenge comfort zones gradually. Increasingly complex games help learn how to navigate the world without the sense of sight and an increased reliance on hearing.
Opening Circle and Raccoon Touch Game
What animal uses it sense of touch to find food, and even has human-like "hands"? A raccoon! At our Opening Circle we explored our sense of touch with the Raccoon Game. Everyone was blindfolded. Ms. Britt and Ms. Kathryn passed out items found in the forest. With their blindfolds on, each person had to use their sense of touch to try to figure out what each item was. We had some excellent raccoon detectives who correctly identified gum balls, pinecones, acorns, leaves, lichens and mosses. This was a great warm up to our next game - Blindfold Caterpillar!
Blindfold caterpillar is a great game because it challenges us on several different levels. The first person in the "caterpillar" is not blindfolded, but everyone else is. The challenge is to trust the person in front of you, lead the person behind you and also pay attention to the ground under your feet. After a short while, the leader goes to the back of the line and the next person becomes the leader. Some of the questions that came up with this game were: How was it different being close to the front of the caterpillar vs being at the back? What was challenging about how you took steps? Did you notice things with your other senses that you weren't aware of before? These are great follow up/reminder questions to ask your Squirrels at home!
Nutty Squirrels is a Nature Connect Classic and always lots of fun, and a little edgy. This game challenges partner team work and takes the blindfold challenge to another level, by requiring that participants also do not speak to each other. This game was definitely an edge for some of us, but as always, people who do not want to participate can watch and join in again when they feel comfortable.