Children are more disconnected from the natural world than ever before. This is deeply concerning.
In Richard Louv's bestselling book Last Child in the Woods, he quotes a child as saying he wanted to play inside because "that's where the electrical outlets are". Technology is here to stay, and it can certainly influence a child's desire to be indoors. We have a responsibility to make sure children don't miss out on all the joys and benefits of being outdoors in the natural world!
Research shows a long list of benefits for children who play outdoors, such as better health and learning, and being more imaginative, creative and cooperative. Some studies even state that children are calmer, more engaged and happier outdoors. Children can't bounce off the walls if there are no walls!
As well, the way children become good stewards of the environment is by nurturing a love of nature when they are young. We can't expect children to care for our natural world is they don't have a loving relationship and familiarity with it. Children are naturally drawn to other living things. We call it biophilia, and it is simplythe love of nature and living organisms. We all need to connect deeply and regularly with nature.
Encourage exploration outdoors this Spring!
Follow your child's lead. What are they most interested in?
Bring a magnifier for looking closely at what captures your attention.
Bring a clipboard with pencil attached just in case you decide to doodle, scribble or sketch.
Take small bags or baskets for collecting things on nature walks. Only take what has fallen to the ground.
Examine and talk about the collection together. Use the items in art or storytelling.
Take towels to lie on and look up at the clouds. What do you see?
Slow down and look inside hollowed out sections of logs and trees. What do you see, smell, touch?
Put your ear up to a tree and listen to the sap running up and down.
Look at children’s books about nature in nature!
Family Space Quinte
100 Station St
Family Space is an Early Years Centre.
Donate to Family Space Quinte; A registered not-for-profit charitable agency.