Becoming a Child of Nature: It's a Twofold Task of Parents and Children
1. If children discover the beauty of nature while they are young, they will respect nature and try to preserve it when they are older. Parents play an essential role in helping their children make this discovery. Although young children are not able to understand the complex relationship of man to his environment, they can be educated in this aspect and learn how to respect nature and gain a simplified understanding of the importance of a healthy ecological
environment. Helping children to gain such an appreciation
and understanding can be an exciting adventure which is available to all that are willing to explore and use their senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
2. Wonderful phenomena
of nature are all around us. For example, have you ever awakened
early to watch the sun rise? Have you ever stopped to observe a setting sun, a star-filled sky, or an October moon? Have you ever gone out after a rainfall and delighted in the scent of the fresh air? Have you ever taken time to listen to the song of the birds, the trees' rustling
in the wind or the music of the crickets? Have you ever held a seashell to your ear and heard the roar of the ocean? Have you ever tasted fresh berries, melon or spring water? Have you ever shared the above experience with your children?
3. To help children gain an understanding of the world around them and the importance of ecology
, parents can use interesting objects from their children's everyday lives. For example, most children are familiar with rocks. They have seen them, touched them, and played with them. However, they will not discover the beauty and uses of rocks unless you help them. Collect some rocks and point out
that some rocks are minerals
, others may be used for decorations
, like marbles used in building houses, and still other rocks are used to build roads. Visiting mountains if possible can help them gain a better understanding of rocks.
4. Most young children love to play in dirt. You can help your children to gain the concept that soil is not just dirt but something necessary for life. Most plant life grows in some form of soil. Take your children for a visit to gardens and farms where food is grown. Perhaps your children can have their own plants or gardens. You can explain to them that plants are necessary not only for food but also for controlling floods. During a time of heavy rain or snow, plants help to absorb the moisture