On the first day of winter…there is bound to be some wonderful gifts from nature. One of the best gifts we can give our kids is a connection to the natural world. This isn’t easy to do in cities. In his book “Last Child in the Woods” Richard Louv writes that our children are at risk of developing a Nature Deficit Disorder. To celebrate the season, spend some time outside with your child.
What things are there to see? Some trees have lost all their leaves, some are still green. In some areas the ground may be all white or maybe brown. A few lucky areas are quite green. Near the base of the evergreens there may be pine cones. Berries may still be clinging to some branches in other kinds of trees. Are there any animals? Do you hear any birds.
Observing what’s around them, is an important kindergarten readiness skill. Some things will be the same as before, some things will have changed. This prepares children for change in their own lives and, at the same time, gives them a sense of security in having some things the same. Talking about what they see helps stimulate language development. While these are important for readiness for kindergarten, the most valuable aspect is connecting to nature. Where will you go for a winter nature walk?