Children are natural little explorers. Here are some ways to encourage their love of nature.
Although he is still quite young, I feel that it is never to soon to instill a love of nature and a sense of adventure in Little M. As you can see from the picture, he really does enjoy being outside! Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the great outdoors:
Stop and smell the roses, literally! Take a walk with your little one. If you can’t make it to a park, start with a walk around the block. Point out wildflowers, grass, trees and small animals – squirrels and hummingbirds are always exciting! Take a moment to sit and feel the leaves and smell the flowers. Watch the people walk past. Point out colors and shapes. Bring color swatches (old bits of construction paper, ribbons, etc) or crayons along and have your kids match them with colors in nature. We sometimes take along Little M’s bucket and collect small stones, fallen flowers and old leaves. We recently bought this magnifying glass to examine our finds more carefully!
Plant something! You don’t need a large back yard to teach children about plants. Help your children plant seeds in a small pot on your balcony or windowsill, buy them a little watering can, and teach them to water and care for their plants. They will see the seeds sprout and the plants grow. It is such a fascinating experience and so simple to do! If you really want to make this as easy as can be, Green Toys has an all-in-one indoor gardening kit. And don’t forget to read our tips for gardening with your kids!
Read a book! Take along a book about nature like Lois Ehlert’s Leaf Man or Phillis Gershator and Alison Jay’s Listen, Listen! Read and point out scenes that correspond with pictures in the book like fall leaves, a bright sun and children playing. I also feel inspired to create a nature journal for Little M after reading this wonderful post on Blue Yonder Ranch. You can either take them along with you or work on them at home, fill them with pictures, sketches, pressed leaves and flowers… the possibilities are endless.