As a bonus, non-Nature Challenge related post, I wanted to share my latest discovery with you: Nature Clubs for Familes Tool Kit. The awesome thing about this publication, found through the Child & Nature Network (really cool site), is that it outlines the benefits of families spending more time connecting to the natural world. A Nature Club for Families, as explained in tool kit, is “a group of people with an interest in connecting children with nature.” Each of these “clubs” is unique and meets in various locations (parks, trails, school grounds), combining “kid-driven play with spontaneous nature observation.” Though each group is different, the underlying goals of these groups are to get outside on a regular basis, share outdoor experiences as a group/community, and experience the benefits of time spent in the natural world.
I had the benefit of growing up in a family in which my parents frequently took us outside–hiking, camping, and playing in the mountains and parks surrounding our home, so these experiences were a very natural and comfortable part of my youth. For many children, this is not the case. Groups such as the Nature Club for Families provide these children with opportunities to experience and interact with nature as a community. Developing a relationship to the natural world is an absolutely vital part of childhood…and MAINTAINING this relationship is an important part of adulthood! 🙂
I mention this tool kit for two reasons:
1. This is a wonderful idea for developing a “sense of place” in communities! There is something really special about experiencing, interacting, and learning with another person.
2. The ideas and tips provided in this pamphlet are easily transferrable for teachers wishing to take their classrooms outside for experiential learning.
This post was longer than expected, but very exciting nonetheless!
REMINDER: Tomorrow begins the Nature Challenge, which will involved artful explorations in nature through ENVIRONMENTAL ART (Check out yesterday’s post for more information!)
‘Til tomorrow…Happy Wednesday!