• Sarah Caughron

Take a One-Foot Hike

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

During this COVID craziness, it's likely that you've increased your daily walks and outdoor adventures.

If you want to try something different from your normal outdoor activity routine, then I suggest taking a 1-foot hike! Typically, an outdoor adventure or hike involves processing the world on a macro scale, but a1-foot hike focuses on the diversity of life and natural objects in a small, 1-foot square. I think this is a fun change of perspective.

We like to take 1-foot hikes in both controlled areas (like our front yard with maintained landscaping) and uncontrolled areas (like a wooded area that isn't impacted by landscaping tools or changed much by people). Try a hike in each type of environment, and compare and contrast the differences in biodiversity you observe!

With your child, select a small area for the one-foot hike. If you wanted to add a math component, you can take a 4-foot string and physically mark the area. If not, you can simply discuss the boundaries without a physical marker. Next, start with a time limit...start with "How much can you find (or observe) in 30 seconds? 1-minute? 3-minutes? 5-minutes?"

Encourage your child to engage his or her scientific powers of observation through the senses of smell, touch, sight, and sound while exploring the complete micro world of their 1-foot biome!

Observing opportunistic plants (some people call them "weeds") in the walkway cracks!

Prompt your child to search their 1-foot square for signs & evidence of life, search for natural objects (rocks, leaves, pine cones, exoskeletons, seeds, small insects, etc.), or spend some time sifting in the dirt of their small square. Finally, discuss how much more (or less!) was discovered when your child observed their 1-foot square for 30 seconds? 1-minute? 3-minutes? 5-minutes.

If you would like to add a literacy component to this activity, check out the One Small Square series below, which are wonderful!

One Small Square: Woods

One Small Square: Backyard

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