Can you remember?
Can you remember making mud pies and daisy chains, rolling down grassy hills, drawing with sticks in the dirt, creating fairy perfumes from flowers and building bush cubbies?
These are some of the experiences we had as children that connected us with the natural environment. While they may not be part of our conscious thought as adults they are significant nonetheless in shaping who we are and our values about the natural environment. What we explored as children in the natural environment is carried within us throughout life.
Early Childhood, a window of Opportunity
Did you know that children in today’s society are spending less time outdoors in natural environments than at any other time in history? In early childhood there is a window of opportunity to facilitate the connections with the natural environment that will last a lifetime. Direct experiences with the natural environment are also important for sensory development, not to mention the endless opportunities for exploration, discovery and learning about the world we live in. How can one be expected to care for or protect the natural environment if one has never been immersed in it?
At LLS we recognise the importance of helping children to develop these all important connections to the natural world. We aim to develop sound sustainability values and practices in children where educators are modelling positive environmental attitudes and behaviours, and sharing with them their positive interactions and connections with the natural world. Spring has sprung, plants are sprouting, flowers are blooming and vegetables are growing. What a perfect opportunity for children to experience the wonder and joy of messing about in dirt and watching their garden grow.
Ongoing experiences in the garden in early childhood are not only fun – they will help children to grow into adults who will want to preserve the environment we live in.