Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reading: The Nature Connection

        On a recent trip to our most favourite of all book stores in Vancouver- Kidsbooks in Kitsilano- I stumbled upon this most interesting nature workbook. I liked the scrapbook type layout and all the simple prompts to help engage kids with the natural world. Umm I am also a bit of a keener and like anything with the word "workbook" in the title- so it was an obvious choice The Nature Connection, An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families and Classrooms  by Clare Walker Leslie was coming home with us!

        On a quiet afternoon- after a morning spent at school followed by a trip to the beach with friends- The Boy and I had some quiet time to ourselves while Miss Lo slumbered nearby. We started talking or "making observations" about what we had seen at the beach earlier that day- seagulls, Canada geese, new green leaves, ants, water, sand and apparently an apple.

        While we practiced drawing leaves and birds together we chatted about the sounds we had heard- what we remembered the most. We also discussed how the air felt- the wind and sand- what happened when you put the two together. We both dabbled in the watercolours- drawing and painting the things we remembered and colours that had stuck with us.

       My Mom is the Queen of Teachable Moments- if there is an opportunity for learning she will find it. It is from her that I learned education does not stop when the bell rings- there are dozens of opportunities to connect with and teach our kids every day- ordinary moments so often passed by. Not only is this book a great resource for parents looking to engage their kids  in life outdoors it is full of fantastic projects, drawing ideas, as well as great conversation prompts.

"We can't blame children for occupying themselves with Facebook rather than playing in the mud. Our society doesn't put a priority on connecting with nature. In fact, too often we tell them it is dirty and dangerous"

                                                                                                                                      David Suzuki

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