Children who are very involved in nature and making a difference in their communities were chosen to participate in Disney Kids and Nature Celebration. To learn more about the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration follow the hashtag #disneykidsandnature on Twitter or visit the Project Green website at http://disney.go.com/projectgreen
According to Richard Louv, a Disney partner and author of the bestselling books Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, every child needs nature.
Not exactly a groundbreaking revelation – but certainly one that poses challenges when you look at your weekly calendar (where’d the white space go?).
What can you do? Rural Mom readers, here’s some advice from Louv for immersing our children in all nature has to offer:
1. Get nostalgic. Take a moment to talk to a grandparent – or even a peer – about his or her favorite nature memories from childhood – was it skipping stones? A favorite picture book about elephants? Drawing horses? Climbing trees? These simple memories might be enough to remind you just how easy it can be to make nature part of your own parenting style.
|My Rural Boys at Animal Kingdom 2011|
2. Think manageable. Connecting kids with nature doesn’t require a family trip to Yellowstone (phew). What it really takes is getting your kids curious about animals, wildlife and the outdoors – the world beyond their house and school. What do baby turtles eat? Why do leaves change colors? How do fish breath underwater? What kind of insect is that in your backyard? Hikes, museums, books and videos can all help spark that fascination.
3. Teach early lessons. Intuitively, we know kids need to learn about and appreciate nature. But what are the real benefits? For one, it’s a sensory explosion for their young minds. Reading about how birds build nests, watching a baby elephant play, touching a sheep’s coat, smelling a rose or digging a carrot out of the soil -- all of this stimulates curiosity in young minds. More important, however, is that it instills a love of nature. And if our kids love nature – won’t they be more likely to protect it?