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Seeing and Supporting Children's Kinship with the Natural World

by Deb Curtis
July/August 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/seeing-and-supporting-childrens-kinship-with-the-natural-world/5019420/

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, 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.
Rachel Carson

Study the photos above of children engaging with the natural world. Notice the reverence in their hands, the amazement in their eyes, the joy in their body language, and their complete attention and curiosity. When we observe children closely, it is obvious that they have an inborn sense of wonder and affinity for nature, which enriches their lives and ours.

Yet children are spending less and less time outdoors so they are losing their enchantment with the natural world, and even worse they come to fear it. Information has become available regarding the alarming consequences to children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual health and well being when they don’t play outside. And needless to say, our environment will continue to suffer if children grow into adults who don’t have experiences where they learn to love and protect the planet.

In response, there are many local, national, and international initiatives designed to promote nature education ...

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