Outdoor Memories: Do all children have them?
3 Tips for Reconnecting Children with Nature
What if you never experienced nature as a child? What if you were told as a child that you needed to stay indoors because it was not safe to play outdoors? What if you were asked to share a childhood memory of playing outdoors and all you could think of was “running” and “jumping” outdoors at school? We have all been children, but what happens when our children today grow up, become teachers and don’t have memories of digging to China, building forts with branches, and lying in the grass and watching the clouds? Then what?
When I wrote about this concept a few years ago, I never thought in a million years that we would actually find ourselves in a global Corona Virus crisis leaving much of the world on house arrest. Social distancing, wash your hands, and stay safe are just a few new terms we are hearing as we enter this unchartered territory.
Schools are closed and all our children are at home. How does a parent, who has never had any experience with Nature as a child, teach a lesson about bugs to children? How do parents get excited about teaching outdoors? How does a parent know how to transform their outdoor play space into a Teaching Garden?
As we seek and find the silver lining within this global epidemic, our children are spending more time with family and life as we knew it has slowed way down.
Regardless of your experience and background, tapping into our own childhood memories playing outdoors is always a good place to start. These memories play a significant role in the way we teach children about Nature. Memories tell a story. The beauty is, this memory bank can be changed, tweaked, and added to, no matter what the age. This is the perfect time to begin your own storyline for your one-of-a-kind Teaching Garden. Your children will thank you.
“In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than one seeks.” John Muir
It’s never too late to begin reconnecting with Nature. Become a student of Nature and listen to the whispers of the outdoors. Here are 3 Tips to get you started:
TIP 1: Get Curious about Nature
- Take a Walk in the morning and afternoon. Notice the change of temperature and light.
- Sit in a special “Sit Spot” and listen to nature & observe surroundings without talking.
- Wite in a Nature Journal about your experience.
- Get down on the child’s eye level and make a mud pie with the kids
- Play Outdoors several times a day. Create a purpose and intention for your outdoor explorations.
- Create learning destinations. Look at life under a log.
TIP 3: Take Action with Mini-Steps
- Choose simple Nature Activities (planting seeds, making a mud kitchen, building a birdhouse)
- Encourage children to create extensions from the activity.
- Take note of what works and what doesn’t. Try again.
Now I want to hear from you. What nature-based memories do you want to create for your children?
Promise me that you’ll always remember that you are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” ~ Winnie the Pooh
The Seeds of Inspiration Learning Card Deck is an idea generator for your Outdoor Classroom. The deck features photographs from The Four Types of Gardens; Gardens that Feed; Gardens that Attract Wildlife; Garden for Art and Beauty; and Gardens as Learning Stations. Each card offers questions as prompts to guide your Outdoor Classroom design and nature-based curriculum for teaching outdoors. Learn more HERE!