Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the world!

While getting ready for dinner guests to arrive, I asked Aurora to go out to the garden and cut some flowers for the table. A little while later she returned with a giant bouquet of flowers and many questions and comments about the flowers in our yard. Looking at the gardens with the intention of making a bouquet gave Aurora a different view—she saw each individual flower, its color, shape, stem, and greenery. The details of each flower affected the overall look of the bouquet. She came into the kitchen asking, “What kind of flower is this?” and “Do these look good together?” She also declared, “We have a lot of lilies in our yard.”

So here’s the assignment: Send your children outside to make a bouquet for the house. Let go of all preconceived notions of what a bouquet should look like, and enjoy watching the process. Below are some ideas that might be helpful when talking with kids about their creations.

Focus on process, not product: “You seemed to enjoy putting the bouquet together.” “Your color combination is bright and bold.”
There is no right or wrong: “There are many ways to approach building a bouquet.”
Promote self-evaluation: “Have you included all the flowers you want?”
Encourage effort, enjoyment, and risk-taking: “I know you have never made a bouquet. It’s fun to try new activities.”

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