In many ways, it might seem that kids already go wild for nature. Have you heard the term “rewilding” when it comes to kids and nature? While this usually refers to returning an area to natural wilderness, it also means getting kids back to real experiences with nature.
Today’s kids know more about the environment than ever before but, at the same time, they spend less time actually in nature than ever before. George Monbiot, author of the book Feral, warns us “Of all the world’s creatures, perhaps those in greatest need of rewilding are our children. The collapse of children’s engagement with nature has been even faster than the collapse of the natural world.” This has been at a terrible cost and our children are paying the price.
Fortunately, the solution to ‘rewilding’ kids is simple: time in nature. Nature herself will take on the role of teacher. Summer often gives us more opportunities to do that so for the next month, these blogs will explore ideas to spend time in nature with kids.
Another author, Richard Louv, who wrote Last Child in the Woods, says “We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are moments when the world is made whole.” When we give kids time in the natural world, Nature will write her story on children’s hearts. As parents and caregivers, we are failing our children if we cannot find ways to allow children to connect with nature.
Nature not only teaches about the outside world, but also the inner, personal one. According to lifelong naturalist, and father of five children, Stephen Moss, “Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.” This isn’t surprising that outside in nature, we encounter the true inner one of who we are.
How can we promote that kids go wild for nature?
(Join me on 123kindergarten’s blog this month for ways kids go wild for nature.)