From our Kindergarten teacher, Kari Strandstra, some words about the importance of our connection to nature…
In our modern world, children are spending less and less time outside in nature. Instead of playing outside with friends or spending time in nature, many children are staying inside with televisions or computer screens. This has been a big shift in our society.
This is also true of schools. Most schools spend a majority of the day inside, with only a small amount of time outside in our natural world.
At NUA Sparrow, we have a great reverence for Mother Earth. We know it’s important to have a connection to nature. It gives the children a feeling of grounding, of inquisitiveness, of imagination and a respect for Mother Earth. The children learn an appreciation, curiosity and wonderment of the world around them. They also watch as their natural environment changes throughout the year, seeing a rhythm and a cycle to the year.
At NUA Sparrow, we feel it’s important that children connect with nature daily. Throughout the week you will see children …
- Watering, weeding and planting
- Eating snack around “Mother Tree”
- Playing cooperative games in the grass
- Hearing a story under the acorn tree
- Looking for “ fairies” in the bushes
- Collecting rocks and leaves after lunch time
- Studying the plant species and growth
- Searching for insects to observe
My kindergarten students love the times of the day that we spend outdoors each day. They love to tell stories in the grass, design pictures in the dirt, create things with natural items and make things from the earth. They make puppet shows with rocks and sticks, organize leaves into shapes, count the berries on a bush, watch lifecycles develop and learn measurement by watching a seedling grow. Hummingbird Haven kindergarteners love to feel the tactile natural elements, smell the aromas, see the beauty, feel the warm sunshine on their faces, and run in the fresh air.
My students tell me that being outside in nature just makes them feel good! As my kindergarteners declare, “We love Mother Earth!”
Below are a couple of articles on the importance of children’s connection to nature. I hope you can get out and enjoy nature soon!