Today is Earth Day! I am teaming up with some nature loving Mama bloggers to share some spring nature walks (be sure to click through at the bottom to read their posts!) I shared a big round up of Earth Day Nature Walk Ideas for kids last week, so today I thought I would share why I think nature walks are such a great activity for Earth day. I once read a quote from Green Child Magazine which stated,
“It’s hard to imagine how the next generation is going to save the environment if they haven’t actually spent time in it.”
This quote really struck home with me. It seems very simple, and yet, the act of simply go outdoors and exploring nature is something that is so rarely given priority in many childhoods. And if little ones have not experienced nature and the beauty of the natural world, how are they ever going to develop an appreciation and a love for it?
So the question, as of late, for me has been, “How can I develop a love of nature in little ones”. And the answer, I believe, is shockingly simple and clear. By simply going outside. Being in nature, exploring our backyard, the neighbourhood, local forests, and parks. Nature is everywhere.
While we are outside exploring, I try to be mindful of walking slowly and following the lead of my little ones. Benjamin, who has just turned 18 months old, has an amazing fascination with birds. Every single time he hears a bird he cups his hand around his ear, says, “Birr” and then watches intently until he sees one. As you can imagine, birdwatching takes up a lot of time during our nature walks right now.
Sam, who just (just!) turned 4 enjoys exploring and adventuring. He will climb, run, and jump his way through nature walks. Since we take similar paths most of the times, he is also our ‘noticer’. He will notice when a tree has changed, or big branches have blown off in storms. He has noticed a few painted “x”‘s on some trees, and is concerned for what that mark stands for.
My daughter Madeline (11) likes to enjoy her walks in leisure. She will stop to gather flowers, or quietly bend down to see how close she can get to animals. She loves to find animal prints and tracks and branches that have been nibbled. She is my wonder-er, who walks softly but carries a strong (and when needed loud) passion for animals.
All three of my children have taken to different ways of connecting with nature. One seems to have a very specific interest, one is a wild explorer, and another a quiet wanderer. But all of them have learned to connect with nature, and as such have developed a love for the natural world.
One of my goals with this website, is to provide support and encouragement for helping parents, caregivers, and teachers get little ones outside and connecting with nature. Do you have a way you like to help little ones connect? If so – PLEASE share in the comments! It takes a community!
Here are some wonderful Spring Nature Walks, by HIGHLY recommended bloggers to hopefully inspire:
Rain or Shine Mama: Learning about Wildflowers
Mommy Loves Trees: Learning about Spring Trees
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Beautiful thoughts for Earth Day.
I love to see kids outside. I am visiting from Mae’s blog. I am a retired teacher and I worry about the future with the disconnection I see with many of today’s kids. We did so many things with our daughter that she will then do with her children… But that is the minority… Michelle
I agree there does seem to be a growing disconnect to nature Michelle – but there are many parents still getting their kids outside – I know for a fact, because I was just trying to book a favourite camping spot for the summer and it was FULL!! We love being outside, and I think by providing some fun activities and ideas, we can help little ones get back outside