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Teach your children to enjoy nature

Updated on January 17, 2013

A forrest school - dont miss the quiz!

"Mum, what is black and red with little dots on the back?"

"Hmm I dont know darling, I am reading now."

"It has many legs with hair on too...!"

"I said I dont know, please go and play now!"

"OK, but there is two of them crawling in your hair now!"

"AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!"

This scenery is not so uncommon. May be with other living things but still. Once I was the kind of woman who was scared of anything crawling, humming or shirping. The important thing that changed my view was that I got knowledge about nature and what is in it. I still remember the day, when I was standing ing the sun with only a bikini on, and I heard a loud sound of something flying in the air approaching my shoulder. When I slowly turned my head and had a look I felt I had conquered my fear for good. It was a big beetle with long antennas. But the thing is I KNEW IT WAS HARMLESS!

So why am I telling you this. Because this is what we have to teach our children. Take the little ones out in the forrest and help them to listen, smell, look and above all - enjoy nature. The smaller childeren do not have to be tought the names of flowers, birds or insects. All they have to do is to look and see the difference! There are leaves and needles. How do they look? And - A blue little flower, a bird that is singing "Kiss me, Kiss me" or an anthill with thousands of little working ants. Depending on where in the world you live, there can be some animals and insects that are dangerous. In Sweden where my children grew up are almost none.

Teach your child to LISTEN in nature. There is so many sounds and smells and wind blowing through the tree tops. Help them as early as possible to feel comfortable in the forrest. The woods is the nursery of the animal babies so we cannot thow paper and plastic garbage there. We have to bring it home. We cannot throw a bubble gum because it can be stuck on the birds beek and he cannot eat any more. And anything that we can eat, we can leave in the "nursery". Like the rest of an apple or pear but not the peels of an orange.

The Most Important Thing

HAVE FUN so DONT STRESS

Open the door to other worlds!

One of the absolute best items I have ever had for my children, is a loupe! A loupe is often used to see small things like inside a clock or a close look at jewelry. The camera sellers often have them for sale. But I found the best loupes at a small shop who was selling stamps and loupes for seeing them close.

I had classes of children with me out in the forrest and gave each one of them a loupe to hang around the neck. They looked at absolutely everything! Most exciting was the world that opened up when you looked at bark. A landscape with valleys and sometimes inhabitants.

They looked at a flower and saw the stamen and pistills. There was no need to explaing what they saw, what the names were of things. All I did was to allow them to explore an invisible world. On an ordinary leave is small small openings. One day years later they will learn about them and understand the importance for the plants life. But not now not with me.

Buy a loupe for each of your children - they should have their own

Buy one that you can put a band around. Then hang the loupe around the childs neck. They have a tendency to leave the little loupe in the forrest and then run to tell you something they saw!

Let your child make a wall decoration! - or for the door!

Go out in the forrest and on the fields. Pick dry flower stems, leaves or cones. Some of the berries are useful and moss too. Find old mushrooms on the tree stems and then go home. Spread it all on the kitchen table and put together "art" with glue, cord or wire. Make nature memories and allow your children to be little artist. I used to spray the decorations with varnish to keep the dust away a little longer.

Vote and have a say

If you are used to country life it is one thing, but if you have spent your whole life in a city - it is another .....

Are you comfortable out in the forrest and nature?

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Emerson Mini Binoculars
Emerson Mini Binoculars

These binoculars offer magnification more powerful than the natural eye. At only 8 ounces, these featherweights won't slow you down.

 

A camera is a must

Give your child a camera and teach them to use it with zoom, video and so on. The beauty with digital is that you can always delete and use it again. For a child to see their own photo of a tree or a bug is a fantastic experiance!

Take better pictures than ever before. Kodak's innovative Smart Capture feature adjusts camera settings for great pictures in just about any environment, automatically.

Reduce blur caused by camera shake or subject movement with automatic blur reduction feature

Advanced video features include audio capture, playback, on-camera editing and prints from video

Birds and their songs

Get a bird feeder!

Watch the birds without ever leaving your sofa...as they come to you... "Who Else Wants To Attract Hundreds Of Birds To Your Bird Feeders -- In Record Time?" This book was written to try and demystify the odd world known to all birders as bird feeding.

The 'Everything You Want To Know About Bird Feeders' Guide

- Why have a bird feeder at all, and how long you can expect it to last.

- Special considerations for hummingbirds and Orioles.

- What you should - or shouldn't - have in the area around your feeder.

- What you absolutely must know about bird baths and water troughs.

Browse for bird books with our without sound!

Bird Quiz -listen and try to recognize

Red Cardinal

Many birds songs

Here are the sounds of Blackbird, Tits, Hoopoe and many many more. With small children you absolutely dont have to even mention the names. But it can be fun for you to recognize the tiny singers in the trees.

Tell the child that there is one bird that is singing "Kiss me!" Kiss me!" - teach them to use the ears and to be silent in the nature.

Please let me know if you have a tips or suggestion for this lens.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Dear Irenemaria,

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that children should be taught to respect and adore nature. This also helps them develop values, consciousness to environment and not littering.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      This is a very nice lens! My mother took us out into the woods when we were children, and my husband and I took our kids out into the woods when they were young. We all have an appreciation of being out in nature.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 7 years ago

      A beaitiful lens, reminds me that I spend too much time already cities after I spend all my childhood on the country side. Guess there's soon another time for a change.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      I love this lens. My entire family enjoys nature and my daughter has always had nature study kits, binoculars, birding books and more. We discover new things together everyday. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      RebeccaE 7 years ago

      amazing videos.. just beautiful

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 7 years ago

      Very nice with the sound of the birds! Well done.