The famous naturalist and conservation advocate, Rachel Carson, once said, “If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” And for that reason, it’s important to share the wonders of the world with your kids.
However, too many children lose that sense of being a part of the world at an early age. In fact, some even experience fear, disinterest or alienation to their natural surroundings. And yet a strong sense of connection to our planet is profoundly important to a child’s mental, physical and spiritual health. So, how can a parent ensure that their child develops a healthy sense they are a part of the cycle of life? Read on to find out how.
How to Share the Wonders of the World with Your Kids
There is no better way to cement a child’s natural experience of interconnection than to let them experience it in some fun, interesting ways. But that experience doesn’t happen as easily or naturally in urban environments where most people live, as it did when they lived closer to nature. So, if you’d like to share the wonders of the world with your kids, here are five things to strengthen their appreciation of life and our fantastic planet:
1. Go Camping
Make sure you have at least one camping experience together each year. Set up tents and enjoy living in nature and experiencing the natural beauty. Your child will develop resourcefulness and an attitude of conservation by living in the natural world and other creatures.
2. Find a Favorite Natural Spot
It doesn’t have to be a big spot. It can be outside your back door or a short walk away unless you’re totally surrounded by concrete. Visit your favorite place together each day to see what seasonal and other changes have occurred since your last visit. Talk about them and record them, in drawings or pictures. Make an album.
3. Plant a Garden
Plant flowers, herbs and vegetables in the ground if you can or in window boxes or large planters if you don’t. Try different things in your garden, nurturing each according to its needs, observing the cycle of each planting. You can even put plants on a table by a sunny window to grow.
4. Eat Things from Your Garden
Nurturing food from seed to table is a valuable experience of the life cycle. This is one of the best ways to share the wonders of the world with your children. Also, it’s healthy for kids, too. Your child is more likely to eat veggies they’ve grown themselves. Best yet, you’ll save money on groceries.
5. Foster or Adopt an Animal
Pets are a wonderful way for children to learn responsibility and compassion for other beings. Going to a shelter is a great way for kids to see caring in action. And if you can’t afford to adopt, foster an animal to help them find a forever home faster.
6. Be Straightforward About Death
This, too, is part of the cycle of life. Death affects all life, plants and trees, as well as other animals, and ourselves. Leo Buscaglia wrote a beautiful book, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages. It explains the life cycle of trees to illustrate the cycle people are a part of, too.
When you share the wonders of the world with your kids, you can encourage your child’s sense of playfulness and curiosity. So, nurture their sense of wonder as you enjoy these activities together. Surprisingly, growing your child’s innate sense of wonder in this world may re-inspire your own connection to it, too.