Have you ever had this experience of taking your children or class to the biggest zoo or the wildest forest in your city to find out that all they are interested in is climbing fences, catching spiders, or collecting tiny stones?! You may wonder why you spent all the money and energy to introduce them to the wild while they were just excited to explore the regular and familiar things.
You shouldn’t feel disappointed at all. The research is completely supporting your experience. Direct and regular experience with ordinary and nearby natural areas is far more interesting and valuable during childhood. What usually takes children’s attention, makes them talk about nonstop, and encourages them to further investigate are not necessarily very complex or unusual things in nature. Isolated, occasional, and out of the context contacts with nature are less engaging and exciting, because children do not have enough time and a good body of knowledge and experience to either understand them or develop an intimate and meaningful relationship with them. Children maybe more interested, curious, and care to learn about what they can find in their school yard than some distant endangered species or exotic animals.
The familiarity of children plays an important role and also they can repeat their experience when it’s in their nearby neighborhood and a part of their everyday life. These are the key things if you wish to build on their natural interests and passions.
Do you have any thoughts to share?