Natural Connections

Notes for an outdoor game.

We want to facilitate thinking about connections between parts of nature. This is a game of categories, places, processes and things. It works by relating randomly-chosen things to each other.

Water is one category, and the rain cycle is a process within that category. Water might also be streams, ponds, puddles, nourishment for plants and animals, ice, snow, rain, and so on.

Animals is another category, be they invertebrates, birds, mammals, insects and so on.

The words (and/or pictures) each have a card. The cards are shuffled and turned face down. Someone picks a card and explains what it is. The next person picks a card and thinks of a way to explain the relationship to the first card. If it’s a close relationship, the second card is laid next to the first. If it’s a distant relationship, the cards are kept farther apart.

What connects a mouse to a cloud? How does one affect the other?

Maybe the cloud helps keep temperatures steady, and makes life easier for the mouse. Or maybe clouds stop birds of prey from seeing the mouse, and it can live longer.

At this point, there aren’t any other rules, so the game can be very flexible in the way it’s played. That’s an option worth exploring.

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