Fostering Nature Appreciation in Children
Visit a Nature Reserve
Nature reserves can hold some of the most captivating wildlife scenery, especially to young minds. They often have a large amount of different plants and animals. Also, they are designed especially for the purpose of preserving and appreciating nature. Nature reserves can offer uniquely creative programs, tours, and classes you won't find anywhere else. One way to find a nature reserve in your area is to visit the Nature Conservancy at Nature.org. You also may want to check your local parks and recreation department.
Gardening is an activity that will allow kids to observe nature from start to finish. This makes an excellent candidate for creatively teaching a child to love nature. Many kids will enjoy various aspects of preparing, planting, observing, and (where necessary) harvesting a garden. Some great starter plants for kids include bean plants, sunflowers, bulb plants, and sprouted plants.
Allow the kids be creative and design the arrangement of plants. KidsGardening.org is full of great gardening ideas, but beyond that, National Gardening Association supports plant-based education through Youth Garden Grants and other awards programs. Also consider getting the kids involved in the community by creating bucket gardens for the hungry or homeless.
Family Nature Night
Ever thought of dedicating a special night just to nature? Holding a family nature night is one way to instill the love of nature. It also can create some great family bonding time and memories. Various activities can be done during family nature night, such as star gazing, bird watching, insect observing, nature crafts, gardening, and so much more. Nature crafts can be anything from bird and squirrel feeders to collages and wreaths. Since it's about nature appreciation, be sure to stick to all natural and eco-friendly crafting. To take this a step further, consider forming a nature club that meets regularly.