Growing up in urban areas I always found it amazing to visit nature. I felt a special connection to the trees, plants, water, etc… I never really understood the power of this connection and why it was so important for my development until now.
Nature reminds you that you have no control over what can happen. It also brings you back to a calm space where your body re-adjusts.
My husband and I go for hikes with our daughter and our dog because it relaxes us. We go on these nature adventures because it’s essential for our sanity as new parents.
Our daughter just turned 8 months and gets fussy if we don’t go out to nature. This made me question what is it that calms her outside and I realize it’s the same thing that calmed me when I was young.
You see there is something special about mother earth and the energy it emits. I’ve always been very interested in alternative learning for children and nature is a fantastic teacher.
Some educational systems such as the Waldorf or Montessori educational methods do use natural elements to enhance imagination. There is even an educational method called “Forest School” a learning approach that uses natural environments to develop confidence and self-esteem. So clearly nature does bring an important aspect to human development.
The best way to show children to respect nature is to go outside and play. But there are a few kids books about nature that can be read with a child to help them understand why it’s important to keep a close connection with nature:
“The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown is a beautiful book that teaches children how important it is to maintain a green healthy world. The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning and the story is fantastic.
Another classic children’s book that teaches about the importance of keeping a healthy world is “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. This is one of my favorite books because it teaches so many lessons, not only about nature but about how great can really destroy society. The imagery in the book is brilliant like in most of Dr. Seuss books.
Nature itself is fun and there is no need to actually have nature toys. But I did find a kit called “Natural Rock Art” that is pretty convenient for those artistic souls. It has everything you need to paint funky rocks found in nature. Kids can create some awesome characters and play with their own handmade toys.
I will definitely do this with my daughter when she is a bit older! I also would recommend doing some nature art without paint. I did a mandala in Ibiza with only objects from nature and it was super fun.
Another great tool to enhance education on nature are some digital alternatives like this lovely app created by Toca Boca called “Toca Nature”. It recreates the how plants and trees grow in the forest. Kids can collect berries and mushrooms or feed different animals.
For my family contact with nature is non-negotiable as it reminds us how we are not alone on this planet. Even Though my daughter is very young to understand this, I make sure that she interacts with grass, sees trees and touches water from lakes and oceans.
I can’t wait until she is older and can create her own adventures with nature. I know how this will help her respect it and at the same time, nature will provide gifts to her soul.
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