Why Children and Nature?
“Teaching Children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” Thomas Berry Dreams on Earth
I ventured in the world of Outdoor Classrooms as a parent at my children’s elementary school. A group of us created a Children’s Garden. Before I knew it, I quickly found myself volunteering to take classes outdoors and leading an after school garden stewards group. I was hooked! As an educator, I grew curious upon witnessing the connections children were making while exploring their natural world. I began to question, Why Children and Nature?
In my quest, I have become part of the revolution to reconnect children with nature and founded Outdoor Classrooms. Every Teacher Can be a Natural Teacher. I have shared some of my favorite articles that speak to the benefits of Nature on Child Development. Enjoy!
Every Teacher Can be a Natural Teacher
Step One: Understand the “normal” growth and development of the Child. I like to look at child growth and see how I can connect Nature to each stage of development. Here is a great article that does just that: Children and Nature: Developmental Stages
Step Two: Join the Call to Action. As educators, parents, teachers and leaders we all need to understand our role in the Nature movement. The World Forum Foundation’s article Re-Connecting The World’s Children to Nature invites us all to dig a little deeper.
Step Three: Add Resources to Your Tool Kit. It is so easy to get bogged down with the abundance of books, articles, and websites on this topic. Here are some key resources that will inspire your work as a Natural Teacher: Lighting the Fire
Step Four: Learn that Play is the key ingredient to teaching and learning. Here are two articles on play that spell out how really simple and critical Play is to the development of our children.
- The Importance of Playing, Puttering and Pretending
- The Decline of Play in PreschoolsTaking the Nature Prescription Seriouly–but not too
Step Five: Start your journey as a Natural Teacher: Take kids outside and teach outdoors! Here is a great article with 10 ways to start.
Why Children and Nature? Write a response and reflect on two or more of these articles in the comments below. Let’s start a revolution today!