Do you have a favorite magical hideaway from your childhood? Perhaps it was sitting up against a fruit tree in your backyard, or maybe it was lying in the grass amidst the wildflowers at the top of a hill. The natural environment is strongly tied to our sense of place and returning to a place regularly can create powerful connections. Establishing a routine “sit spot” is a very simple activity you can do at home with your children to connect them with their surroundings, and at the same time, encourage creativity in the outdoors.
To find your perfect sit spot:
- Select a place within walking distance of your home – either in your yard or at a local park – and visit that spot for a few minutes each day. This spot should be easy to get to – ideally no more than a two-minute walk from home.
- Then, make yourself comfortable. If you are doing this activity with your children, your sit spots should be in the same general area so that you can keep an eye on them, but far enough apart that you still feel in your own space and are free to enjoy your own moment.
- Once you are sitting, be as still as you can and try to become part of your surroundings. I have friends who have done this and birds have come to land on them because they were so much a part of the environment! How’s that for a connection to a place?
Start small. Aim to sit there for two minutes and just observe the sights and sounds around you. Then gradually increase the time. Eventually, you can work up to sitting for 20-30 minutes. You will be amazed at how your children look forward to and crave this activity. You can also introduce sit spot activities like sketching and journaling once the routine has been established.
In doing sit spots with students, I have noticed that their observational skills are sharpened and they develop a deep personal connection with the world around them. The sketches, poetry and writings that result are incredibly thoughtful, observant and reflective. One Bay Area mother blogs about how this practice has influenced her son’s worldview. With all the stimulation we are exposed to on a daily basis, being in a sit spot can act as an antidote. It is a restorative practice that allows you to just be in the moment. Try it out and let us know how you like it. Happy sitting!
This blog was written by Christina Chung. Christina Chung is the Camp Director for our Cupertino Park Program and she comes to us with years of experience as a naturalist, teaching students in the outdoors. She enjoys dangling from trees, showering in duff and squishing mud between her toes. Christina is also an avid crafter who spends much of her free time creating new things from old things, as well as making things from scratch. This is her first time blogging for Edventure More, but you can look forward to more contributions from her soon!