An Everyday Explorer’s Menu
From the book How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith
1. Accidental Art: go for a walk and explore “art” that wasn’t created on purpose (stains on sidewalk, rust, spilled liquids, etc.). Document the art in some way.
2. House Hunt: Sit down in any room(s) in your house. Write as many things about where you are sitting right now that you hadn’t noticed before. Add drawings.
3. Explore and collect objects that relate to your early childhood or inspire memories. Tell the story of each object in some way. Share your collection with your class.
4. Travel History: collect objects that tell a story of your travels. Document where you found each object. Display your memorabilia in some way.
5. Map the cracks in your neighborhood. Include a legend and a compass rose. You may add street names, traffic signs, or any other details.
6. Mini Museum: collect very small things that you are drawn to. Store them in a mint tin or small box. Tell the story of each object in some way.
7. Document 50 things about an ordinary trip somewhere (library, grocery store, beach, etc.) You may write, draw, or do both as you document. Share in some way.
8.Instant Sculpture: explore materials around you that can be used in a sculpture. Create one or more sculptures and share in class.
9. Wonderful Water: explore and document shapes made by water. Research shapes made by water. Come up with new ones.
10. Go undercover and capture the hidden life of one or more objects. What do they do when no one is around? Track their activities and conversations.
11. Found Sounds: collect objects based on the sounds you can make with them (tubes, metal, water, plastic, food, etc.). Record your sounds or perform in class.
12. Explore rocks wherever you can. Create a rock collection. Try to determine the types of rocks you found. Display in some way.
13. Explore recipes and prepare a meal. Create a menu or document the process in some way. Include all the senses. Share the meal with someone.
14. Tactile Board: explore and collect materials based on their texture. Glue the textures to paper or cardboard. Invite people to close their eyes and guess what the materials are.
15. Scavenger Hunt Collection: Make a list of things to find in one day. This is fun to do with friends and family and then compare your findings. Share your collection with your class.
16. Sit in a location for a long time. Document all the sounds you can hear and what made the sounds. Do a “sound sort” and categorize the sounds in as many ways as possible.
17. Paper Collage: Use discarded paper and cardboard to create a collage. Explore texture, color, and shape, types of paper as you work.
18. Make a list of the things you smell in a week. Be as detailed as possible. Attempt to identify the sources of your smells. You can also rank the scents from best to worst.
19. Found Patterns: collect or document as many patterns as you can find as you explore the world. You can use pencil rubbings too. Are your patterns made by nature or humans?
20. Collect many different parts of trees that have fallen naturally. Arrange your items. Study shapes. Rearrange things. Create new items out of the parts you found.