Tips for ex­pos­ing chil­dren to na­ture

Santa Fe New Mexican - Healthy Living - - NEWS -

1. Main­tain a bird­bath.

2. Find a scrap board and place it on bare dirt. Af­ter a day or two, lift the board and see how many species have found shel­ter there. Iden­tify th­ese crea­tures with the help of a field guide. Re­turn to this uni­verse as of­ten as you’d like and dis­cover who's new.

3. Make a leaf col­lec­tion. Keep a ter­rar­ium or aquar­ium.

4. Visit your lo­cal park.

5. En­cour­age your kids to go camp­ing in the back­yard.

6. Es­tab­lish a "green hour" — time for un­struc­tured play and in­ter­ac­tion with the nat­u­ral world — as a new fam­ily tra­di­tion. Even 15 min­utes is a good start.

7. When­ever pos­si­ble, en­cour­age in­de­pen­dent ex­plo­ration, let­ting kids go far­ther from home as they get older.

8. En­cour­age your kids to build a tree­house, fort or hut. You can pro­vide the raw ma­te­ri­als, but it's best if kids take the lead.

9. Plant a gar­den. If your chil­dren are lit­tle, choose seeds large enough for them to han­dle and that ma­ture quickly, in­clud­ing veg­eta­bles.

10. Col­lect stones. Adults could ben­e­fit from the same ac­tiv­i­ties!

For more in­for­ma­tion: www.art­sof­na­ture.org, www.santafemoun­tainkids.com, www.jour­ney.schoolsf.org/

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