My daughter doesn't do 'noticing' very well. She's intrigued if I call her to see something like an echidna visiting our garden, or something else visual – that doesn't take her too long out of her busy day. But sounds, smells and sensations are a little mundane for her. She doesn't stop to smell roses on the way to her next after-school activity, birthday party, or sports tournament.
After thinking around this (see my previous post) I created the following challenge for her. This is targeting all the things that she's interested in, but is customisable as we go.
Monthly Treasure Hunt of Life
At the beginning of the month I will set 10 “experiences” for my daughter to capture. These will be customised to the season, and generally be things she can hunt for and locate around the house, or her local environment.
Each should only take about 5 minutes to locate and describe out of her day.
She will need to capture this “experience” in some way, and then describe the senses of it in a short paragraph. As my daughter is of the millennial generation (an iPad baby) she will be doing this electronically (in Evernote, see below). After some experience, I must finally admit that my daughter and physical notebooks just do not last.
At the end of the month, if she has collected and described all ten experiences in her Sensory Journal, she will be awarded some treasure. In this case, it will be a bit of pocket money, as she is saving for something.
I will be the judge of the challenge, and recognise that there will be some occasions when one or two of the challenge items can't be captured or simply are unobtainable. I will also reward her bonus or make-up points if she does additional or creative hunts of her own over the month.
If the challenge is successful over a couple of months we will together decide how to change-it-up and make it even more challenging. Perhaps with further writing exercises where a couple of notes are combined into a narrative piece. Or where she sets me some challenges for my own sensory journal.
- What does the call of a kookaburra really sound like?
- Describe a curry.
- Describe when you've got clean sheets on your bed.
- Describe your father when he's happy compared to content (it's Father's Day here on Sunday 1st September, so hopefully this will be witnessable)
- Compare Bert's fur with Rocky's fur, but not in colour (both are cats)
- Sit out on the garden bench. What do you hear?
- Listen to a conversation in the local cafe. Without looking, describe what the people look like.
- Dance in your bedroom alone. What does your body feel?
- Listen to the frogs in the creek. What do they look like?
- Describe the leaf buds on the tree in the back garden. Why are they so late to come out each year?
Using Evernote for a Sensory Shared Journal
I selected Evernote as a method for my daughter to capture her treasure hunt. She has an old iPhone of mine, and by putting the Evernote iPhone app onto this, she will have all the tools necessary to capture her treasure.
As an Evernote Premium user, I can create a notebook for her Treasure Hunt, and share it with her either as a new user, or by making the notebook offline and available on her iPhone app.
Evernote has some wonderful features that she will love to use to create her notes with – the photo camera will let her take a shot of her father's grin, and save it as a note that she can then type (tap) a description in, the microphone will let her capture the sound of a kookaburra (and an excerpt of that cafe conversation she's been asked to eavesdrop onto), or she can record her own thoughts.
She can also learn about synching, web or cloud storage etc as she goes, and also how to make use of some common social media elements such as tagging (she'll be tagging with the month of the hunt). All within the safety and security of our shared notebook.
Once the notes are synced up to the Evernote web server, I will have access to them also, to see how she's progressing. But the onus will be on her to spot opportunities in capturing her target challenges.