Grounded: Connecting Your Child to the Earth

All young children are fascinated with the outdoors. They exclaim in wonder when they see their first cricket, grasshopper or dragonfly. At every opportunity little boys and girls will stomp in a puddle of water and laugh in delight at the splashing result. Finding tiny wildflowers in an ordinary lawn or field can hold their attention for a long time. Even the occasional frog, turtle or rabbit that ventures across a lawn will catch and hold their attention.

Why is this connection to the earth important for young and also older children? Not only does it create interest in the natural sciences but it also gives children the opportunity to appreciate the wonders of nature.

Give your child a zip-lock bag and go on a nature walk. Let them collect sticks, stones, acorns, seedpods, leaves and anything else they find interesting. Take the found treasures home and let the child glue them on a heavy piece of paper. The resulting collage will make a great science project. To extend the activity write the name of each object on the finished work.

Make a nature walk a weekly or daily adventure for you and your child. Not only are you connecting your child to the earth but you also create lasting memories.

Digging in the dirt.

Digging in the dirt.

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