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Schooling with Nature

A few weeks ago our preschool-aged children on a late winter walk with their families!

They were asked to collect nature treasures that they would want to share with their friends.

Yesterday we laid all our treasures out and the children took turns with a share. It was amazing to see all the beauty of late winter laid down on our mat and the wonder in each child’s face as they recalled something about the time spent finding each item.

Nature connects us to ourselves and each other on such a deep level. It is essential to share the love of nature with our children.

It’s literally magic happening around us, all day every day. We discussed the colors and the number of items that were found on the ground and why this might be. We remembered picking up the item with our family members and the fun times we shared.

Next class, we will glue some of these items to a classroom board to remember our winter treasures and repeat this activity for the spring to observe change.

I’ve struggled with collecting nature treasures in this way before as the outside world needs to remain honored and untouched. However, I also believe that some items lend to inspiring joy and wonder, as well as interest in nature, and deep respect for preservation can be brought into the classroom for study.

Do you only appreciate nature outside, or... bring it inside for further exploration and fun learning experiences?!

Tips for engaging with nature

  1. Pick a trail and go on regular walks. Take pictures, observe, notice the animals, or maybe lack of. Notice how the environment changes over time, quite spectacular!

  2. Bring crayons and blank paper. Encourage children to draw what they see. The memories captured remain with them for a lifetime.

  3. Collect nature treasures... sort different colored leaves... write your names in the mud. Get personal with nature.

  4. Lay on the grass. Notice how it feels on your back, your feet, hands. Look at the clouds. Be completely present in the moment.

I challenge you to spend time outside and explore what the world has to offer!

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