We’re lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful country, with ready access to wild spaces with all their mental health-restoring brilliance. Of course our children are forever nagging at us to take them on long walks in the fresh air. Or not. The shiny lure of screens and a reluctance to deal with sunscreen, hats, mossie repellent, jackets and suitable footwear (sometimes all at once, in NZ) mean that all of us can struggle for the motivation to get out there and enjoy the outside world. But on one rainy walk during a summer holiday, a slightly desperate distraction tactic for irritated children revealed a lovely way to draw them in to the magic surrounding them.
Welcome to the Tiny Worlds around us. The premise is very simple-find a miniature natural scene, and try to take a photo that captures the richness and variety of it. Kids with their own cameras can compete or collaborate with the adults. In truth I love doing this even if the kids have wandered ahead, so you don’t actually have to have a child with you. A decent quality camera on your phone will provide some really pleasing results in all kinds of conditions, especially if it has macro and flash capabilities. Looking at my favourites from the last couple of years, damp and shady places produce some of the best little scenes around here. This might just save the day if your trip turned out to be a drizzly one!
There’s nothing complicated about this game, and the photos are not always outstanding. But once you’ve taken an interest in the incredible tiny details all around you, you can’t fail to feel some connection to the place you’re standing in. It’s no different for children, even the ones who thought they wanted to stay indoors.
I’d love to see what tiny worlds everyone else can find near them 🙂