Notes from the Naturalist
(Notes from the Naturalist will be a weekly column by HCMA's own Jenne Walker. Jenne is a contributing educator at the Nature Preschool at Heart Centered Multi-Age.)
The natural world is a wonderful place to experience and learn so much! As an outdoor educator, I always tell people that the power of observation is a great skill. And yes….it’s something a three year old can do! Children tend to see the world through a different lens, and that can be so refreshing!
While our lives tend to be busy with booked schedules, it’s important to take the time to let nature guide us. How to do this? Find the time to stop and observe the natural world around you, even if it’s just 5 minutes. This will help to set the stage for feeling and being more connected to not only nature but ourselves. We understand that children’s bodies don’t always sit still, but this is a great opportunity to start the process of learning in an outdoor setting. Its starts the important questions into why, what, how, when, where.
At the core of the Nature Preschool at HCMA, we will work on creating compassionate and caring children, not only in their social and academic setting but through nature as well. As parents you can help your children to start their early “scientific” observations by finding time to really explore life around you. This may be in your back yard, in the city or on a hike. Sit for a few minutes and explain how sharing a quiet moment will help to see a bigger picture. After, ask them what they heard, what did they smell, what did they feel and see….this starts the conversation for an endless amount of learning.
Take a clip board with you on a hike and let them draw what they see. Have them snap pictures of items that they do not know the names to but could use to later identify the item, let them explore nature guides but above all, let them explore and have fun. We hope your summer is filled with some quiet moments and time for observation!