As much as the inside of your early childhood space needs ‘home-i-fying’, the outside of your centre needs ‘garden-i-fying’. Do you have an outdoors that invites a feeling of being in a lovely ‘Nanas garden’? Does your outside match the child?
Children learn best when they are downloading at a cellular level and are able to follow nature’s plan. Our role is to match and reflect the biology of the child with our environments. That means providing an environment that offers children a daily diet of real and natural experiences, indoors and outdoors.
We unfold best cocooned in the beauty of Nature!
Childhood is about truly memorable experiences that involve all the senses and feed the heart and speak to the soul. Children need to feel the warmth of the sun, hear the singing of the birds, see the beauty of the butterflies, smell the fragrance of the flowers, and taste the flavour of the apples. The best play memories are those that are deeply embedded with Nature.
The beauty of Nature is like a balm for our soul!
Each moment in nature renews our inner reserves, restores our sense of balance, nurtures our souls, and truly reminds us of the things that really matter. Nature and getting children connected to Mother Earth should be top priority for any ece place and be the anchor in their philosophy.
Children ‘know’ at a cellular level why Nature is our best physician.
This relationship with the natural world must be nurtured in those early years for it to become a foundation for life. Those connected to and with nature will love and protect nature! Budding ecologists start with experiences where they fall in love with nature.
Doors open 24/7!
‘Green time’ is the very best mineral and vitamin for all our wellbeing. If you know children are having loads of screen time at home then its our job to balance this with greentime and Earthing. Prescribe as much green time and vitamine N as possible for children. This means for doors open 24/7!
The weather delivers a banquet of opportunities for us all to connect more and more to the elements and refresh our soul.
Why does it matter? Our children need unstructured play time in nature, where they can activate their imagination and build up a body of knowledge about the world through multi sensory experiences. The natural world is full of sights, sounds, and smells, and invites children to follow their curiosity, to explore and to connect with their senses in a way only nature can. These authentic and multi sensory experiences lay the basis for later learning as the child stores “images”, making them more easily remembered or recalled.
Plug into Earth!
In his book Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv shares many studies that have shown that spending time in nature and outdoors has huge health benefits, physical and emotional. Outdoor experiences in, on and with the earth nurture a sense of wonder and make children more aware of their immediate world, while at the same time fostering respect and a sense of belonging. Taking responsibility, being respectful, showing compassion and taking care are heart-centred qualities the child unfolds in partnership with nature. Just another way that nature feeds the heart.
No need to ‘teach’ the child to respect Nature when they have been so connected to Nature and had such pleasure from being wrapped in the arms of Mother Earth.
When the whole early childhood team – owners, management, staff and parents – is committed to children being able to access their birthright, eco-literacy increases. It will be the most important literacy for a sustainable future, yet there is no need for a complete forest at their doorstep. Garden-i-fy your outdoor environment, giving our children a rich childhood full of wonder, nature, fun, friendship and play. Wonder rekindles our sense of intimacy with the earth.
Open the doors! The miracle of nature awaits!