Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elementary Activities: Woodland Homes

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
We enjoy camping and spending time in the mountains as a family. If you ever come to a campsite that the Rowleys have recently abandoned, look around for a woodland home somewhere in the vicinity. Over the years, we have created countless natural homes for critters and fairies alike to inhabit. We aren’t picky about who comes to stay; we just hope they enjoy the structure for as long as it lasts.
(A squirrel checking out our woodland home.)
There are only a few rules for creating a woodland home. First, nothing in the structure is glued or nailed in place or in any other way made permanent. We just stack and prop our creations next to a tree or large rock. Second, only natural items can be used in the creation of a woodland home. We don’t add anything man-made that would detract from the beauty of the woods around it.
Be creative and see what you can come up with. We have made tables and chairs, complete with acorn cap bowls and flower petal centerpieces. We have made soft beds of leaves and stone walkways. We have used everything from sticks, pine needles, bark, leaves and grass that we find on the ground around us. Sometimes our woodland homes take us 15 minutes to build; some elaborate creations have taken several days to finish. It is something everyone in the family can work on and enjoy together. 
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