The great outdoors is a natural playground waiting to be explored. Whether it’s listening to a bird sing, uncovering an animal track, or watching a squirrel run up a tree, your senses come alive when you notice nature.
In order to love nature, you need to experience nature. Kids need to experience meaningful connections with nature, such as planting a pollinator garden, building a bird feeder, or spending time by a pond watching dragonflies. Creating opportunities to connect with the outdoors encourages discoveries, sharpens observation skills, heightens critical thinking, and fosters environmental stewardship.
Encourage your child to be curious and to observe with all their senses, focusing on the wonderful sights, smells, and sounds around them.
Connections with nature can begin close to home, your backyard, your school ground, or a nearby park. This spring, create a sit spot! A sit spot, quite simply, is a favourite place in nature that you can visit easily and often. When you find that magical place that is special to you, sit, focus, observe, and engage your senses. It won’t be long before you realize that nature is full of bright colours, calming sounds, and rich textures.
What can you see? Look up at the sky, look down on the ground. Do you see budding trees? Colourful flowers? Crawling insects?
What can you smell? Do you smell fresh cut grass? Do you smell flowers in bloom?
What can you hear? Do you hear birds chirping? Do you hear insects buzzing? Do you hear leaves rustling?
What can you feel? Does the ground feel hard or soft? Can you feel the sun on your face?
Start by being curious. Spend 10 minutes or spend an hour, let your child guide the way.
Over time your child may begin to notice patterns. Do they notice different animals depending on the time of day? Do they see squirrels active in the morning or at night? When do they hear owls? When do they see buds on trees or leaves on the ground?
Children can collect items they find naturally on the ground, like a feather, a petal or a snail’s shell. Their observations can be reflected as words or drawings, or simply take memory photos and keep their observations to themselves.
These close encounters with nature will inspire a sense of awe and wonder!
Enrich the learning with our virtual community workshop, Noticing Nature, perfect for libraries, community centres, after-school and summer programs.
Chicka-dee-dee-dee. Who was that? Play a game to discover nature sounds around us. Buzz your newly created bee around flowers to pollinate them. Investigate seeds and make a seed caterpillar that will grow over time. Notice all that nature has to offer, big and small!
Book Noticing Nature today or contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s in Our Nature: A mini film series
NEW! It’s in Our Nature: A mini film series. Join Scientist Heather on a virtual video adventure and discover birds, mammals, and insects on our YouTube channel.
Pileated Woodpeckers are one of the biggest birds in North America, known for their bright, colourful red crests, and loud drumming sounds. Join Scientist Heather on an outdoor adventure and discover the unique sounds and behaviours of these colourful insectivores.
Opossums, sometimes referred to as just possums, are North America’s only marsupial. Join Scientist Heather and discover why opossums are a benefit to our ecosystem and an essential part of nature’s clean-up crew!
Walking through a meadow habitat, you may notice a wide variety of insect species. One of these fascinating insects is the spittlebug. Join Scientist Heather as she investigates how spittlebugs create “spit” and why it’s important for their survival.