If you’re here as a sports enthusiast, I’m sorry if I mis-led you. Read on anyhow.
As I walked through the woods with my family today, we designed a new forest game. It doesn’t take more than walking through the woods to entertain me, but when you’ve got some of the smaller, whinier varieties of human-folk with you, a little game or activity can increase enthusiasm for hiking-time. And so, I introduce:
THE MAPLE LEAF PLAYOFFS
- Wait until autumn (in a location where the leaves change colours in the fall).
- Visit a forest (one with colourful leaves on the ground – maple trees often work best).
- Each person finds the most attractive and colourful leaf they can find.
- Repeat until each person has at least three leaves (1st, 2nd and 3rd place). Continue this throughout the walk, comparing new leaves with previous ones, until the three best are selected.
- At the end of the walk, place all leaves on the ground and vote for everyone’s favourite.
- The winning leaf can be pressed in wax paper for posterity (or at least photographed if you’re (like me) too lazy to get the iron out). (These people look like they know what they’re doing)
My kids were surprisingly engaged in this activity, as was my husband. They continued searching through the entire walk.
This is an activity in mindfulness!! We spent so much time focusing on the trees and the colours of the leaves that I found myself fully present in the moment (and not worrying about a dozen other things).