Come on a mindful journey through nature just like Ollie. What can you see out your window?
They were weird times. Strange times... Ollie wasn’t quite sure what was up. Words like “unprecedented” (what does that even mean???) and “challenging” were flying around.
What he did know was that he was at home alllllllll the time and his mother asked him to wash his hands a million times a day.
No school, no play groups, no time with his friends… to be honest, he was plain bored.
There was only one good thing… Mum and Dad were home too, although they were on their phones and laptops for most of the day.
Ollie looked out of the window. It was a beautiful day! All the colours were sparkling – and how much green there was! The dark green mango tree in front of the house, the shiny little bushes that his Dad had planted, the silver-green leaves of the gum tree and of course his lime green new toy truck!
How many greens can you can see from your window?
Ollie ran to his Mum and told her how many greens he had seen from the window. His Mum stood up from her computer and came with him to the window. “What else can we see out there?” she asked.
In this moment, a willy-wagtail flew past. “Birds ….”, Ollie shouted. His Mum took her phone and set the timer – let’s count how many birds fly past our window in the next minute! Four birds, Ollie counted, and he knew three of them – a magpie, an ibis, and a miner bird.
But the fourth one he hadn’t seen before. His Mum didn’t know either and started her bird app - they put in the colours (dark and spotted on top, light orange underneath), the size (tiny), and the shape (like a sparrow) in and the photo came up… it was a spotted pardalote.
Use this handy website to find out which birds you can see.
“That’s fun” Ollie said, and they set the time again. His Dad came in and asked what they were doing. “Do you know what songs they sing?” his Dad asked. They opened the window slightly and listened to the magpie that had just taken seat on one of the branches outside their window. “Gugloglguoguk”. Ollie tried to copy the song. “That sounds so nice”. At that moment a screechy gang of cockatoos flew past and the magpie took off.
Ollie’s Dad pointed out a kookaburra that was sitting further away on a lamp post. Ollie couldn’t see him, but he turned his hands into binoculars and let his Dad guide him. He found the Laughing Jack.
Why do you think is the Kookaburra also called laughing Jack?
Turn your hands into binoculars and see what you can find from your window.
You can also collect four sticks on your next walk and turn them into a frame that you hold up to parts of the window.
“I spy with my little eye something yellow!” he said and turned to his parents. Both put their binocular hands on started searching. “Ben’s yellow Mazda”, Mum said. “The yellow writing on the lawnmower”, his Dad said. “No – something living” Ollie answered. His parents looked around again and his Dad found it – the beautiful little frangipani flowers on the neighbour’s tree.
Try a game of “I spy” with your parents and sibling from your window.
But some of the flowers had fallen and turned brown already. All shades between yellow and brown were there on the ground.
Collect some leaves or flowers that you find on the floor on your next walk and put them onto your windowsill. Watch them turn brown and then let them fly out again.
“It’s a beautiful picture that you found for us” his Mum said. “What do you mean?” Ollie asked.
“See how the window frames a wonderful picture of nature?” his Mum asked. And it was true!
His Mum went and got transparent paper and some coloured pencils, and stuck the paper to the window – together they started to trace the trees and bushes that they could see straight through the window.
You can do the same, trace what you can see through the window and then colour it in. Send a photo of your picture to your friend. If you exchange photos you can compare what they see from their window.
At dinner, Ollie’s big brother Ben joined them. Ollie remembered all the things that he and his parents had seen from the window.
Look out of the window for 30 seconds, turn around and try to remember as many things as possible.
“That sounds beautiful” Ben said and went to look out of the window with Ollie before they both went to bed.