Posts

Up-Close with Nature: Summer

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults
This summer I have been taking long leisurely walks as I am sure, many of you have been.  I have put on my sunscreen, grabbed my phone and water and headed out the door just as I have dozens of times in summers past. But this summer I have noticed something a little different about my time out-of-doors.  All around me nature is inviting me to take a closer look. Animals and creatures are inviting me to play. Maybe they notice I have more time for them. Maybe they know that I want to be invited in for a closer connection. 
So far I have had a lizard drop in my lap, a dragonfly play tag, a bunny stop for a nibble, a caterpillar show me how to hang in, a spider check me over and a grasshopper hang out with me. 
The plants and trees have been beckoning with zig-zags, swirls, splotches, and slashes, pulling me in.  
This is what I have found when I was up close with nature.

Next time you go for a walk take a closer look.  See what patterns,…

Play With Me: Art [Part 4]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

This is the final week of the Play With Me: Parks and Recreation month art series. This week has the final part of our secret message and coloring sheets that feature nighttime creatures. Young children are curious and often intrigued by what is happening in nature when they are asleep. It is exciting for them to think about a whole secret world happening in the dark that they seldom or never see. It is also a good topic of conversation to share with them because they will be happy to talk and ask questions.

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance.

Supplies/Setup
Print the Nighttime in the Trees background sheet and the Nighttime in the Trees cutout sheetMarkers, crayons and colored pencilsScissors (age appropriate)Glue As y…

Celebrating Robert Jennings During Park and Recreation Month

Image
By: Cynthia Booth, Public Affairs Specialist

I think that it is safe to say that many unsung heroes in the parks and recreation profession have stepped up to the plate and done extraordinary things to keep residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the recreation specialist to the receptionist, no job has been too big or too small during this time.

However, Robert Jennings, Park Superintendent for Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR), is the person who comes to mind when thinking about the life-changing and life-saving work during COVID-19.

On March 26, City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel instituted a Stay-at-Home Order mandating that all City facilities remain closed to the public until further notice. As you can imagine, that required a lot of prep work to close, secure, and maintain DPR facilities.

During the Stay-at-Home Order, Robert found creative ways for his staff to work safely at a distance, i.e., one person per vehicle, providing safety masks, etc.

Over the past few mont…

Play With Me: Art [Part 3]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

We're continuing our Play With Me: Art series! July is Parks and Recreation month and in celebration we will focus our art making on things found in nature. It has been hot and beautiful outside. Maybe you have gone for a few walks through a favorite spot. I know I have and more than once I peeked under a rock to see what was there. Discovering new things can be fun. Maybe you have discovered some new things in your wanderings that you can share with your child as you work together on our next set of coloring sheets called Among the Rocks.

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance.

Supplies/Setup Print the Among the Rocks background sheet and Among the Rocks cut out sheetMarkers, crayons and colored pencilsScissors (age…

Play With Me: Art [Part 2]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

We're continuing our Play With Me: Art series! Making art and being creative is fun for all ages, and especially fun when done together. July is Parks and Recreation month in celebration we will focus our art making on things found in nature.

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance.

Supplies/Setup
Print the Background Sheet and Cut Out SheetMarkers, crayons and colored pencilsScissors (age appropriate)GlueAs you work on the print out sheets together, talk about what you are doing:
Remember color choices can be natural and imaginary.Encourage and compliment their cutting and gluing skills.Ask them if they have found any of the things they are coloring outside in a park or in their yard.Ask what color leaves they have in t…

Play With Me: Art [Part 1]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Program Assistant Sr. - Mature Adults

This week will start our Play With Me: Art series! Making art and being creative is fun for all ages, and especially fun when done together. July is Parks and Recreation month in celebration we will focus our art making on things found in nature.

These activities are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance.

Supplies/Setup
Print the Background Sheet and Cut Out SheetMarkers, crayons and colored pencilsScissors (age appropriate)GlueLeaves, twigs, pine needles etc. from outsideLet’s Play
You can both color your sheets at the same time.Once you have finished coloring the sheets cut out the items on the cut out sheet. Glue the things from the cutout sheet onto the background sheet (use only the ones you want). Try gluing only part of the cutouts down…

Play With Me: Purposeful Work [Part 3]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Mature Adults Master Program Specialist

We're continuing our Play With Me: Purposeful Work Series and the next activity will be Pouring. If you haven't read our previous blog posts featuring Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, make sure to take a look back before continuing with these activities. We have also prepared a document of Tips for Virtual Communication that you can review, specifically related to this Play With Me series. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Shannon Mallery at Shannon.Mallery@DurhamNC.Gov.

Pouring Activity

These activities are designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance. Also keep in mind, it is most ideal for you and the child to have the same set of supplies.

Supplies/Setup
Small pitcher with colored water (you can u…

Play With Me: Purposeful Work [Part 2]

Image
By: Shannon Mallery, Mature Adults Master Program Specialist

We're continuing our Play With Me: Purposeful Series and the next activity will be Scrubbing. If you haven't read our previous blog post featuring Part 1 of this series, make sure to take a look back before continuing with these activities. We have also prepared a document of Tips for Virtual Communication that you can review, specifically related to this Play With Me series. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Shannon Mallery at Shannon.Mallery@DurhamNC.Gov.

Scrubbing Activity

Please note there is a possibility that the child may spill water in this activity so it is best to be done where that will not be a problem, maybe outside on the porch or on the counter with a large towel near by. It might even be a good idea to cover the computer keyboard with plastic and a towel. 

Please note there is a possibility that water may spill during this activity. It might even be a good idea to cover the co…