What if a pile of colourful autumn leaves was used as inspiration?

A think dive into a pile of colourful autumn leaves.

The forest is going to sleep. Days are getting shorter and the animals are squirreling away for winter. Plants and flowers are capsulated and the trees start to let go of their leaves.

Autumn is a wonderful season for discovering what happens when natures slows down and goes more or less to sleep. Is nature really sleeping?

Leaf play is a part of almost every child’s childhood. The joy of walking into a big pile of leaves and making a big mess. The wonderful feeling of throwing the leaves high up into the air and watching them slowly fall down to the ground. Those leaves might actully be home to a wide range of animals and plants.

Nature is filled with wonders. And to exploring the wonders can lead to understanding and spark new ideas.

Leaf litter consists of leaves, twigs and pices of bark that have fallen to the ground. It is a vital component of healthy soil and decomposing leaf litter keeps the soil moist and releases nutrients to it.

The dead material is the perfect place for worms, snails, fungi and spiders. Some mammals also like to sleep underneth a pile of leaves. Hedgehogs and the irresistible but also endangered dormice.

The name dormouse comes from the word “dormeus,” which literally means “sleepy one.” They are nocturnal but they also hibernate during the winter months. They make their little nests in logs and piles of leaves.

dormouse 2

Creativity begins with curiosity about the world. Mixing the curiosity it with imagination and knowledge is not only tremendously fun it is also a powerful learning experience.

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Explore the learning potential and creative thinking benefits of shifting the way you ask your child questions. Good questions help children to think outside the square, they challenge assumptions and help to spark a desire to explore possibilities. A think dive into the unknown. A playful approach but also an approach that requires awareness just like jumping into a pile of leaves requires checking to ensure that you do not injure any sleeping animals.

Children love to ponder over ideas that are a bit silly and ridiculous. So questions that are a bit outrageous and crazy are often a great way to trigger exciting ideas. Open questions let the child explore freely rather than give a closed “yes” or “no” answer. They also invite children to search for information, explore possible solutions, and to think creatively about the question.

What if you could make a jumper that changes colour depending upon the temperature outside. The jumper will turn brown in colder temperatures, and a warm yellow when hotter.

Paper leaf thermometer

Photo  Japan Trend Shop

What if you could make a toy that can climb like a dormouse?

What if you build a robot that could when it turned old could decompose and keep the soil moist and release nutrients to it?

What if . . .

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