Take Your Children Outside And Show Them The Life Of A Kid
We all evolved outdoors. We (sapiens) lived with the rest of the planet for most of the last two million years. We moved indoors just in the last few centuries, leaving our connections to nature, the night sky, all we eat and drink, and our kinship to all other living beings behind.
Most everyone, except a few of us born just in the last two decades, have living memory of being outdoors and connected to the living world. Children used to live, and play, outside most of the time. The memories of that life can help restor and rebuild an interest in making our present world sustainable. Share your memories of nature. They matter.
Now our food (sometimes non-food) comes pre-wrapped, and often in hazardous plastic. We take the sustaining world for granted. Sometimes we forget our desk or house or scratch pad was once a tree. Sometimes we forget water, power and every device we depend upon came from some living system, somewhere.
But recounting memories of being outdoors, especially on vacation trips or immersed in woodlands, foamy shores, deep canyons, or wild deserts reminds us of something that we are, and something greater than ourselves too.
It’s an important and essential way to connect not only to young people, but to ourselves and the greater habitat we need.
We talk every day about the importantance of being unplugged, but only a few organizations are openly pushing for agendas that identify the importance of healing and learning in nature. It is up to parents, and even those without kids, to get outside and see what life really is up to out there.
Walter Butler, Principal at Chattahoochee Elementary Charter School near Atlanta Georgia describes that although their campus is more akin to a summer camp than a classroom, children are learning not just the basics, but confidence, resilience, beauty, coping and appreciation as well. But the basics are not neglected, such as integrated lessons in math and science.
“Something magical happens when children connect to nature…” Explains Bulter. “They learn by seeing patterns. They learn by seeing patterns in nature. They learn by seeing angles in nature.
Noted Primatologist Jane Goodall and Marine Biologist Slyvia Earle are also concerned about the need for people, and especially children of this generation, to get out and experience life on Earth.
Dr. Goodall, who founded Roots and Shoots conservation programs for children, writes: “Roots creep down in the ground to make a firm foundation. Shoots may look new and small, but to break through to the light they can break brick walls.”
Sylvia Earle advises children to “Dive deep and explore,” and, “Use your talents, whatever they are to make a difference for yourself and for the natural world, because it all ties together.”