nature play, Partnership Highlights, programs

New Nature Club in East Point

We are so happy to announce a new partnership with the City of East Point Parks and Recreation Department to bring a Nature Club to children in their after school program. Some partnerships are just “made in heaven” and with a little help from a nature loving mom, Jasmine Crisp, with her own organization (The Love for Animals Outreach) who made this introduction we’re off to a great start!

We visited the Jefferson Park Recreation Center in late July for a nature play session and had a great time getting to know new friends as we talked about everything from nature at their homes, to clouds, to animals, to food! The like-minded dreamers who plan this program saw potential in getting these city kids outdoors and teaching them that there is nature all around them even in the city. Serving close to 60 children ages 6 to 8, Sparrow’s Nest Play has greatly expanded not only our program hours but our reach with this one program offering.

We are planning four hours of programming a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and the possibilities are endless! They have a wonderful interior courtyard that could be perfect for gardening and raised beds. I can already see a pollinator garden and vegetables growing with kids tending them as they learn where their food comes from and how to grow it. The front of the property, while it faces a fairly busy parkway is completely fenced in and shielded by overgrowth that runs along a drainage culvert. There are fruit trees growing on the hill and birds in the brush, along with evidence of rabbits and other wildlife that visit to feed in this little urban Eden.

With access to the city’s many parks, paths and new Nature Trail, we’ve got the makings of a first class Nature Club. Our sessions begin in September and run through November, with plans to extend this Nature Club into the winter beginning again in January through Spring! Now more than ever, your donations will make a lasting difference in the life of a child as they come to know the wonder of nature! Look for more details to come about Special Projects and Sponsorships for this promising program in a great community!

Partnership Highlights

Birthdays with Sparrow’s Nest Play

At Sparrow’s Nest Play it is our passion to connect children to the natural world. We have personally found that getting to know the animals, plants, and natural phenomena that are living alongside us in our own backyard is a very meaningful and satisfying way to connect with nature. And what better time to do this than on their most special of days – their birthday! If you are looking for a little something extra for their party or in the mood for a different event this year, take a look at some of the unique party themes we’ve put together.

Birding Birthday

Children are inherently interested in animals and nothing beats the wonder and fascination they experience when they learn they can correctly identify a bird by learning their songs and calls. Here are a few fun ways we like to introduce kids to “birding” at an hour long Discovery Play Party. Hourly rate = $80/10 kids (mileage may accrue additional fee)

Discovery Play

  • Small World Play with natural materials, blocks, and wooden objects
  • Library of books both informational and fictional about nature, birds, and outdoor play
  • Play with bird toys and feathers

Games & Staff Led Play

  • Read Aloud Story Time about Birds and Birding
  • Build a Life Size Nest – kids will collaborate with staff to build a life size bird’s nest while discussing bird habitats and health
  • Name That Call – kids will play a game as they learn to identify by sound 3 common bird calls they might hear in their own backyard
  • Bird Identification – kids will learn to identify by sight 6 birds common to the Georgia Woodlands (they’ll also leave with a set of flash cards to take home)

Craft

  • Natural Pinecone Birdfeeders for 10 kids [add $ 20 ]
  • Recycled/Upcycled Materials Birdfeeders for 10 kids [add $30 ]
  • Nesting Wisks for 10 kids [add $30 ]

Take Home Extras

  • Nature Journal with colored pencil set
  • Birding Journal page
  • Compass
  • Bird Flash Cards 
  • Parent Page with more fun birding activities with your family

Fairy Garden

Have a little princess in your house getting ready to celebrate her special day? Consider a party complete with fairy play, wands and tons of magical moments! Hourly rate = $100/10 kids (mileage may add accrue additional fee)

Discovery Play

  • Small World Play with natural materials, blocks, and wooden objects
  • Library of books both informational and fictional about nature, birds, and outdoor play
  • Play with fairy garden toys

Games and Staff Led Play

  • Read Aloud Story Time about the magic of Fairies
  • Fairy Garden Treasure Hunt: kids will collaborate with staff to hunt for Fairy Treasure
  • Fairy Dress Up Play with a variety of wings, wands, and sparkly things

Craft

  • Fairy Wands for 10 kids (add $20)
  • Fairy Crowns for 10 kids (add $20)
  • Fairy Garden 10 kids (add $45)

Take Home Extras

  • Nature Journal with colored pencils
  • At Home Fairy Scavenger Hunt
  • Fairy Dust

More Party Choices…

Bushcraft Birthday [hourly rate $100 for 10 kids]

  • Knot Tying 101
  • Veggie Peeler Whittling Project
  • Tracking Identification Game
  • Compass Game
  • Small World Play
  • Fire Safety & Fire Making [recommended for ages 8+]
  • Campfire Cooking Project [recommended for ages 8+]
  • Read Aloud
  • Take Homes: Knot Tying Cards, Nature Journal, Colored Pencils, Compass, Animal Track Cards, Parent Page

Pollinators Party [Hourly rate $80 for 10 kids]

  • Mini-Pollinator Fountains
  • Buzzy Bee Scent Game
  • Wildflower Seed Bombs
  • Cheesy Pollinator Activity
  • Read Aloud
  • Take Homes: Pollinator ID Pack, Nature Journal, Colored Pencils, Compass, Parent Page

Crafting with Nature [hourly rate $100 for 10 kids]

  • Stick Wrapping
  • Sun Print Art
  • Clay Pinch Pots
  • Nature Weaving Station
  • Read Aloud: A Day with No Crayons
  • Take Homes: Nature Journal, Colored Pencils, Parent Page

The options are endless! Other available themes include Gardening, Enviro Warrior, and Buggy Birthday. Does your child have another nature interest? Contact us about putting together a custom theme for you!

events, Partnership Highlights

Autumn’s All Around PlayShop

Autumn's All Around Preschool PlayShop at Powder Springs Library on Tuesday, October 25th from 11:30am - 12:30pm

We’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Powder Springs Library to provide nature education to children. Our first event will be our Autumn’s All Around PlayShop, designed for preschool aged children. The Powder Springs Library has beautiful grounds that we’ll use to our advantage as we use our senses to experience the arrival of Autumn.

Children will enjoy free-play at Nature Discovery Centers where they can explore the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the season. We’ll enjoy a story together and then complete a craft and activity. This is a great opportunity to check out some books to get your preschool age child interested in the natural world as they observe the change of seasons.

Meet us in the courtyard at 11:30am for play and nature fun!

Partnership Highlights

Partnership Highlight: Our Giving Garden

Partnerships are everything. You may think I only say this because we are a small nonprofit, but in truth it is in line with the values and mission of Sparrow’s Nest Play. Building community through experiencing kinship and “membership with one another” is what we are about. This series highlights likeminded organizations we have found to come alongside and do the good work that we do. We are thankful for them and want you to know about their missions and work.

Our Giving Garden was established in 2016 on a parcel of land behind a local church in Mableton, Georgia. A small band of volunteers took on a BIG mission – to interrupt poverty. They do this in a myriad of ways, the most obvious being the cultivating of organic produce and eggs for availability at places like The Sweetwater Mission Food Pantry. To date, they have contributed over 6000 lbs. of produce and 6300 lbs. of fresh eggs. All with a handful of faithful volunteers with really big hearts.

But this garden of hope and healing doesn’t stop there. In the parking lot you’ll find their own Free Food Pantry, Free Food Fridge, and Free Pet Pantry also stocked by volunteers and community members that have not been able to resist the vision Our Giving Garden has cast. If The Garden hears of a need, they rally the community to fill it. From Coat Drives in the winter months to other necessary supplies for families, their mission is to interrupt the need and bring peace into the lives of the community. And they do it well.

I was honored to assist with their event programming this summer by serving as a camp counselor. It was a rich experience with days filled with sunshine and wonder as we connected children to nature in a farm and forest atmosphere. Not only did I see children become part of a community with one another, I saw them become partners with the land itself as they began to know and name what grows and lives there. And, of course, at the slightest cry of distress the farm showed the children that they were members of it as well when Samson the Donkey would let out a loud bray alerting everyone that a child was crying.

Our Giving Garden has an upcoming event that you don’t want to miss on Saturday, September 17th! “Working with Animals Day” is an educational event and fundraiser geared toward children and youth to showcase job and volunteer opportunities with animals. In addition to exposure of the amazing animal residents of the farm, there will be animal professionals and volunteers to lead demonstrations showcasing work in the animal field.