Written by C.R.E.A.T.E. Volunteer, Tom Bryce
“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven -
A time to be born and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
We all find ourselves living in a different time and in a different way than perhaps we ever have in this country (during our lifetime). Our daily activities and routines have been turned topsy-turvy and after a day of being “cooped-up” we probably find ourselves tired, down, questioning, and wondering about tomorrow. (A side verse: Hebrews 13:5B)
Keep in mind that we serve a God who created “our garden” that we call earth. And He created it for us! Each of the first 5 days of His creation, he saw that “it was good (pleasing, useful)”. Then on the 6th day, He created man and woman and “He blessed them.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that moves on the ground—to everything in which there is the breath of life—I have given.” And it was “very good”!
In my last “blog article,” I talked about how we should encouraging our children to “get out into the woods”, experience the “outdoors”, and reap all the benefits of God’s Creation! The bountiful benefits are physical, mental, and spiritual!
During this time of being limited to the house, we so often forget that we have a backyard, a front yard, a neighborhood to walk around. And we all too often fall back to the “easy” time-fillers…TV, video games, movies and “social media”. While these can help, they can also distract from healthier and more fun things that can bond us as a family, generate excitement and spark the imagination!
As much as I wish I were working side by side with our students out at C.R.E.A.T.E. during this beautiful Spring season, I know it’s prudent, for the time, to slow down, stay in our “dens and nests boxes” and find ways to help our families and to honor God.
So those of us who have discovered the joys of the First Baptist School “C.R.E.A.T.E.”, we would like to share some fun and imaginative ways (and dare I say “educational ways”) to help you “find delight and purpose” during this “season”.
And to think that we can find these adventures in our own yards, our kitchens (sorry mom), and our sub-division streets! Who could imagine? Don’t call it “science”, and don’t call it “learning”! Call it FUN! Call it DISCOVERY! Call it time with GOD and His amazing CREATION!
This list is only limited by your imagination and creativity. Try some, expand on some, and even come up with new ones (we'd love to see pictures if you do - send to firstname.lastname@example.org or post and tag FBS on social media)!
Put up a bird feeder, put out a bird bath, hang a suet cage, nail up a bluebird box
Plant a garden
Plant a “family” tree and use it to talk about your ancestors
Go out at night and hang a sheet and shine a light (UV or incandescent) on it to look at the bugs that are drawn to it
Study about the moles in your yard, track their burrows, learn about them (they are God’s creatures too…with a purpose)
If you have a lake or pond in the neighborhood…go spend some time at the water’s edge, get a jar full of water from the pond and scoop up some mud or weeds from the edge and put them the jar and look for larval stages of aquatic insects and maybe catch a few small fish (remember, it’s Spring!)
Hang a hummingbird feeder (you can make your own nectar)
Conduct a plant survey of the yard (What’s planted, what’s natural, what’s native and what’s “introduced”)
Draw up a new landscape plan for the yard
Go to a local hardware store and get some seeds and seed pots (Idea: grow some milkweed plants for monarch butterflies!)
Order a monarch butterfly chrysalis and watch the butterfly emerge (Bill Robinson, Sumter, SC; 803-840-3367)
Identify your yard’s flowering plants and look for bees and butterflies that frequent the blossoms
I loved an ant farm when I was young….order an ant farm online and watch the ants tunnel
Get a goldfish bowl and a gold fish
Start a Sea Monkey Aquarium
Or go for the big’uns and start a Triops Aquarum kit
Build a bird house
Night Time Activities:
Listen for owls and other night birds (whippoorwills, chuck-will’s-widows )
Search the sky for meteorite showers
Camp out in the backyard
Go for a neighborhood night walk (listen and look for new discoveries)
Test different solar-powered lights for brightness and duration (and discuss the why’s and how’s to it)
Search for Bats (around street lights)
But above all, trust in God knowing “this season” will pass and through it He will teach us and encourage us…and we can find ways to celebrate Him, have fun and stand amazed at His Creation…during our “valley” trail walk.