Listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go. —E. E. Cummings
Taking our kids for walks in the bush isn't just fun - although it is fun. It isn't just a selling point in our brochure - although parents are attracted to this aspect of our program.
Getting out and about in nature is essential to the well being of children - and adults.
Author Richard Louv explores the restorative powers of nature in his latest book The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorders.
Did you know that nature has a positive impact on our senses and our intelligence; on our physical, psychological and spiritual health; and on the bonds of family and friendship?
And if that isn't reason enough for us to regularly 'go bush':
The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need. - Richard Louv
Sometimes I feel like it is easy for me to write of the importance of exposing our children to nature when I work at a preschool with the natural world right on our door step and an approach that embraces it as an extension of our learning environment.
There are loads of teachers just as passionate about connecting children with their natural world who don't have these advantages.
How do you foster a relationship with nature with the young children in your lives?
Is this an important goal for you in your work with children, or with your own children?
What challenges to you face in your work environment?