Taking time to look closely at the details of life is a skill that comes naturally to many of us, and worth fostering in children who can run like the wind. When we pay attention to details, we develop a healthy curiosity of the world that surrounds us, make comparisons, and notice nuance. And all of these good things contribute to creative and critical thinking. If you’d like to help your child sloooow down, pay attention to details, and smell the flowers (literally!), you could try this fun and interactive photo documentary activity.
pink rose

A few nights ago, the girls and I walked around the neighborhood just before bedtime while my husband cleaned up the kitchen. Lucky me, right?! N, my oldest, truly stops to smell the flowers (it’s a skill we’ve been working on!) and collected all sorts of treasures along the way. When we finally arrived home, we were welcomed by a joyful sidewalk chalk drawing. What a surprise! N and her dad talked about the ephemeral nature of the drawing and how it would probably be gone in the morning, a victim of the sprinklers. So, she asked my husband to take a picture of it….

sidewalk chalk drawing

She enthusiastically shared details with her dad about the walk-adventure we just took, and invited him to join her on a bike ride along the same route (a brilliant bedtime procrastination move if you ask me). And he bit!

girl on bike

So off they went. He brought the camera, and she asked him to take photos of things that she wanted to remember later on…

yellow flowers

The first photo: Fuzzy Yellow Flowers

lantana rainbow flowers

Rainbow Lantana. Did you know that Lantana is poisonous? I love this plant, but with a baby piranha in the house I recently pulled it all from my garden.

pink flamingos

Pink Flamingos. What 3-year old wouldn’t stop to check these out?!

garden rocks

Garden Rocks

green bamboo

Green Bamboo

sidewalk chalk face

They circled the block and returned home. Happy, tired, and ready for bed!

How do you help your kids slow down and smell the flowers?

Do you have a favorite walk or bike ride ritual?


  1. We love taking nature walks around our neighborhood. Sometimes we go on scavenger hunts, other times we take along the camera. Our goal is never to have the same walk twice – and we don’t. I’m inspired by the idea of taking a walk in our jammies!

  2. Hmm, I don’t usually have to encourage my kids to SLOW down. 😉 I like to think I have a small part in that–I’ve always built cushions into my day, as much as I could, to account for toddler time. You know how it can take a toddler 20 minutes to walk from the front door to the car? As much as I can, I plan/ned for that, so I wasn’t rushing my kids, as they went through that stage, all the time with the “hurry up already!” It’s something I’ve always tried to consciously do, to respect the need for very young children to investigate everything. And it’s wonderful what they show you. And I think–(or maybe my kids are just slowpokes!)–that that early respect carries through and results in older children who also take the time to look. I am usually amazed by what they notice.

  3. paving
    this site has loots of creative stuffs for children. i would love to try this with my kids

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