Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Child in Nature

About seven or more years ago we discovered our thirteen year old daughter  was playing in the wooded area behind our house. She was only about six at the time and she would play there daily. One day I decided to venture back there with her and discovered an over-grown, tangled growth of vines, branches, trees and bushes.

 It was easy to see why she was drawn to those woods. The way the light played through the branches of the trees, glimpses of sky could be seen, tunnels through trees and a roof of branches, a mossy meadow, an owl's home high in an old burr oak, birds and squirrels, the ground carpeted by patches of moss and leaves and acorns. Wild grasses and spider webs and seed pods and more all waiting for her to examine and explore.  When I told my husband that it was so over-grown though that I was concerned our daughter could barely play back there we decided to clear out just enough area to make our own nature trail. That's exactly what we did too. It took us a solid week of hard work, but we managed to make a wonderful nature trail in the woods behind our house.

Our daughter has discovered so many things about nature back there just by observing the natural world around her. We have incorporated nature into our daily lives by teaching the girls to fish, garden, camp, climb trees, collect rocks, hatch butterflies, grow flowers, visit nature preserves, bird watch, making casts of animal prints, learn about wildflowers and grasses, pile up underbrush to benefit wildlife, etc. But the biggest impact was probably when we made our own nature trail right behind our house.

Below is a video I found that explains the importance of experiencing nature.

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