These two articles are great reminders of why nature and the outdoors are so important for children's learning.
I challenge us as educators to consider;
- how do we provide children essential experiences for learning through nature?
- can we increase our students' exposure to nature by creating lessons and learning experiences regularly in our local area, for example, down at the beach, or at Centennial park or at the Randwick Environmental Wetlands and Centre?
- Can we bring nature to learning at our school?
- can we make the most of the views that we have?
- how do we improve our Outdoor Education program
- How do we learn from local Indigenous Australians and their heritage about our place here by the sea?
- How do we bring nature to project based learning - there should be no surprises that children love animals and nature and many are wired to be fascinated and want to discover and investigate.
- explore connections between nature, conservation, stewardship, relationships, people and Christian Education …it all connects so beautifully!
I have two wonderful books on my shelf that I cannot recommend highly enough, called;
'Toxic Childhood: How our modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it.' (2007) by Sue Palmer http://www.suepalmer.co.uk/modern_childhood_books_toxic_childhood.php
'Last Child Into the Woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder' by Richard Louv (2010) - now considered to be a modern classic!
Go and get your hands dirty and plant a tree, or go for a walk on the beach. Nature is good for us grown ups too!