Tips for Nature Explorers: Finding Your Sweet (Sit) Spot

a woman reflects on nature under a tree in a park

Did you know you can still enjoy NYC parks from home? Here are some activities for all ages that you can do from home or during short walks around your block or local park while staying six feet apart from others! These activities can be done alone or with members of your household. Remember to wear a face covering if you're heading outside. 

First, Choose a Sit Spot

A Sit Spot can be anywhere: your bedroom window, your front step, your backyard, under a tree in a neighborhood park, or anywhere you can safely sit for five minutes. Your Sit Spot should be somewhere you can return to every day or every few days to observe the patterns of nature.

Once at your Sit Spot, take a few quiet breaths and start to notice the space around you.

Look Around

  • What’s happening with the plants, trees, and animals?
  • Are there birds? Insects? Squirrels or other mammals?
  • Practice using your peripheral vision. How much can you notice without focusing on just one thing?

Listen

  • What kinds of sounds can you hear? Birds? Wind? Cars or human noises?
  • What’s the quietest sound you can hear?
  • How many sounds can you hear at the same time?

Touch

  • Notice how your body feels against the ground or chair or bench.
  • Feel the air. Does it feel warm or cool? Is it windy? Is it humid?

Smell

  • What smells do you notice? Flowers? Food? Something stinky? Think about how the weather or time of day might affect the smells.

Talk it out

Say your observations out loud. You’ll notice more and remember more. Try starting your sentences with “I notice…”, “I wonder…”, or “It reminds me of…”

Ask your questions out loud

The goal is just to put questions out there, not to have an immediate answer. Good scientists often end up with more questions than answers!

Don’t push it!

Spending just 5 minutes at a time is totally fine! The important thing is to come back every day or every few days so you can start noticing differences and patterns. The more you practice, the more you’ll notice!

Start a Nature Journal

If you want, you can record your observations in a nature journal. For example, each time you visit your Sit Spot, you can write down one observation, one question, and one feeling you are experiencing in your Sit Spot.

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