Here’s a great resource I was turned on to by the Children and Nature Network.
First, a little about C&NN:
The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children with nature. C&NN provides access to the latest news and research in the field and a peer-to-peer network of researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children’s health and well-being.
With C&NN you will find pretty much bottomless resources for raising happy healthy intelligent kids without going broke and by reconnecting with the natural world that is an integral part of what we are as the human animal.
Now, on to the resource I mentioned in the title of this post:
A Parents’ Guide to Nature Play: How to Give Your Children More Outdoor Play, and Why You Should! by Ken Finch
Ken Finch, founder of Green Hearts Institute, has published this brand-new booklet for parents. Downloadable as a PDF, this 20 page guide helps parents understand the key elements of great nature play, why it is important, and how they can integrate it into their children’s daily lives.
Also, here’s an
Article about nature preschools.
Which sounds like a fantastic idea that needs to grow! Support local efforts by first learning what opportunities are around you. C&NN can help.
My interest in connecting children (and adults) with nature stems from the fact that we are an inseparable part of that natural world, and when it is thriving – we do as well. All of our healthy activities and diets and analytical thinking comes from engaging the natural world directly – not on a monitor, by watching a cable channel, or by any other detached means. I’m stunned and a little horrified by how many parents I know that do not even take walks in the woods with their kids – consider rocks, dirt or insects (for example) to be ‘bad or dangerous things’. I want to shake these people. I’ll post this (and things like it) instead.
We live in delicate interdependance with all living things – we ignore this at our peril. Starting young is the best way to form healthy habits that last a lifetime. As always, beware of woo which many people (including some educators, like Waldorf schools) are eager to apply to the natural world.