8th June, 2011 - Posted by - 1 Comment
Editor’s Note: As an educator, I can think of no greater place to teach children than a garden. Whether it is science, math, language, art — or anything in between — a garden is a living, breathing classroom. It’s also a place where children can use their bodies and move throughout the day, which is so important for their health, happiness and learning readiness..
Thanks to my friend Carole Brown for stopping by to share her enthusiasm for connecting children with nature in the garden.
Let’s engage children’s bodies, minds and all of their senses — including their sense of wonder – in the garden! – Bethe
Recently, I gave my four year old neighbor a small hand-held magnifying glass which was an immediate hit with her. We walked around the garden looking at EVERYTHING.
We found empty locust shells, butterfly chrysali, bees, and all manner of other bugs and every find spurred a flood of questions:
“Why did it lose its shell?”
“How does the butterfly get out of that chrysalis?”
“What do bees eat?”
These kinds of questions engage your children in the wonders of nature, and a garden is a great place to spark their curiosity.
The best part about teaching children about nature and wildlife in your garden is that it’s right outside your door. When children learn to respect and care about the wildlife that is so close to home, they can learn that we can do good things to help them, but sometimes the things that we do are not helpful to wildlife and can really hurt them.
It’s a very sad fact that most children know more about lions and elephants in Africa, or polar bears in the Arctic than they do about the wildlife in their own backyards.
But we can help to change this by bringing children into our gardens, as Michelle Clay has done by designing her Ecosystem Garden with her son Gabe in mind.
Do you garden with the children in your life? We would love to hear about it!
Happy gardening! ~ Carole
Guest blogger bio: Carole Brown is a writer, educator and photographer who is passionate about wildlife. Her site, Ecosystem Gardening is dedicated to teaching you to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources, and create welcoming wildlife habitat in your garden so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife. You can follow Carole on Twitter @CB4Wildlife.