Honk If You Love Grass Whistles!

Young boy skipping stones

I was only six years old then, but I’ll always remember what happened the first time I slid a blade of fresh green grass between my thumbs and blew on it–nothing.

I tried again–nothing.

And again–nothing.

It wasn’t until many days and hundreds of whistle attempts later that a loud honk blasted past my little thumbs. That honk wasn’t beautiful music to most ears, but to mine it was the sweet sound of success. I had finally mastered one of those cool outdoor tricks that every child should learn before growing up. I could now whistle with a blade of grass. Though it seemed far less important to me at the time, through my whistling trials and tribulations I also honed some important life skills: persistence, patience, and preciseness.

It wasn’t long before I attempted other outdoor tricks as well–to skip a stone, catch a frog, call a bird closer, make a dandelion chain, and fly a kite high in the sky. My parents and friends revealed the secrets behind each feat. But it was up to me to muster up the patience, persistence, and preciseness needed to accomplish them. Every time I succeeded, I felt I had accomplished something truly amazing–and I reveled in the great outdoors that made it all possible!

During your next family Green Hour, why not share the secrets to a cool outdoor trick with your child?

For simple step-by step directions to the six mentioned here, visit Ranger Rick: How-To Guide to Outdoor Fun.

Mary Dalheim is the Editorial Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s award-winning publications for children, including Ranger Rick.

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Published: April 2, 2008