Children across the nation are spending less time outside with nature and more time inside with video games and television. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your child’s development in many ways. Not only does being in nature encourage physical activity, but it also promotes healthy brain activity and the critical formation of complex neuron connections. Though Montessori schools offer nature activities and recess time, you can and should get your child involved with nature at home as well. Consider the following suggestions to get your little one off the couch and into the great outdoors.
Notice the nature in your own backyard You don’t have to go to the beach or forest preserve to find nature. No matter where you live, flora and fauna are sure to abound in your very own backyard. To fully realize the number of plants and animals that live and flourish near your home, make a chart and ask your child to mark every new nature discovery he or she makes. If your child can’t identify a plant or animal, find out from your local library or research it online.
Observe the seasons together Most regions of our country experience all four seasons, which present a perfect opportunity to get your child interested in nature. Have him or her draw a picture of what your backyard looks like on the first day of each new season and compare it to past drawings. If possible, plant a bush and take a picture of your child standing next to it at the beginning of each season to mark both her and the plant’s growth.
Make nature dates as a family The best way to get your child excited about nature is to lead by example. Make regular dates to enjoy nature as a family. Plan trips to nearby parks and botanical gardens. The more you integrate nature into your everyday life, the more likely your child will develop a love for it that will last a lifetime.
Starwood Montessori offers students a quality education that stresses the beauty and wonder of the natural world. To learn more about our private preschool services, or to speak with a Montessori representative at our Frisco, Texas facility, please call (972) 712-8080.