The Importance of introducing kids to nature
Most children, while growing up, have a sense of adventure that is matched by nothing we experience when we become adults. As kids, we get excited at the prospect of being outside, running around, climbing trees, getting dirty and finding weird looking bugs in our gardens.
While most of the time this kind of activity seems like its just a simple part of growing up, or a part of a child’s life that they will eventually grow out of, it is an incredibly important part of the development in any child’s life that will stick with them long into their adult life.
Letting children enjoy and develop their relationship with the natural world will not only be beneficial for them, but for the natural world itself, since it is more likely that they will grow up with a healthy respect for all kinds of life, and will be more aware of how they affect climate change, and how to make a difference than if they are constantly sitting in front of the television.
Any direct access they have to the natural world will also give them some valuable experience and knowledge of how the world works for when they get to learn about biology and nature at school.
Many plants in your garden, as well as the insects and animals that may be living in and around them, will grow and develop over time, and being able to experience and learn about those processes will spark your child’s interest, or even allow them to start thinking about the world in a completely different way than they would if they were constantly indoors.
In addition to getting them to be more active physically and mentally, exposure to the natural world (even if it is mostly limited to your garden and the local park) will help them feel more comfortable with the idea of being in nature, and when it comes to their adult life, they will be more likely to be able to handle things like insects, spiders and snakes than they would if they viewed those things as dangerous, freaky and unusual.
Being in the garden more often means that they will pick up a few scrapes and nicks along the way, and possibly even a few bee stings. All of this will teach them that nature isn’t the horrible wilderness that it seems like, even though we all know that getting stung by a bee isn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience; at least they will be able to understand both how to handle themselves and to not freak out when they come across a lone spider trapped in their bathtub.
Written by: Wesley Geyer