This week I shared a post with Playful Learning readers about nurturing your child’s “sense of place”. Are you familiar with the term?
During an acceptance speech, Rachel Carson stated that “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.”. Children’s developing sense of place must begin right in their own backyards. We must inspire their sense of wonder and nurture their appreciation for the nature in their own environment.
I once read The Great Kapok Tree (a wonderful book) to a group of preschoolers. I had read this book over and over with my own young children and had some insightful, meaningful conversations afterwards. I wanted to share that experience with other children. However, when I paused near the end of the book and asked the group of preschoolers if they thought the man should still cut down the tree, the majority of the children yelled, “yes!”. I was appalled. What I realized over the course of my time with them was that most of these children were not engaging in nature. Sure, they spent time outside – playing, participating in sports, etc. But they weren’t taking the time to notice, they weren’t touching or smelling, they weren’t interacting, they weren’t developing an appreciation for nature. Children must bond with their own environment before they can begin to care about others.
I hope you’ll head over to my post here to read more about “sense of place” and how we can all help our children develop their own.