Children and Nature
MK Nature Design believes that children are to be well cared for and encouraged to be a part of nature. I believe that they are the future custodians of our planet.
At a time where video games seem to have taken over our youth it is very important to nurture a link with nature that is both respectful and fun! I believe that there will be less suicides, less bullying and less problems with our youth if they would only get out into nature more and be aware of the wonder of all that surrounds them in nature. Of course there are many other things in the world that would harm our children and for that we have the kid’s help line (1-800-668-6868) and parents. But today I concentrate on our children and nature.
There are many organizations out there which help with the self esteem of children. Two that I can think of are 4H and 4H country. I was raised with 4H for the city where we talked of cooking, flower arranging or even travel. 4H helped me work together with other girls and made me feel that I was a better person. 4H country goes further and helps children to get closer to farm animals such as horses, cattle or even pigs. A much stronger link with nature. Other organizations would be scouts, guides, beavers or brownies. These organizations are well known and help with the self esteem of all children involved and involve them with nature as well. In addition, there are many sports organizations that children can be involved in however these have little or no link with nature. In general I know that if a child is involved in an organization that takes him or her out of the house with other children, he or she is less likely to be depressed, is more motivated and has a better chance at succeeding even with video games than if the child is always at home doing nothing but playing video games. Don’t get me wrong! Video games are important too. We may be training the next NASA pilots, girls or boys, with all that hand eye coordination but there has to be a balance!
I would like to take the time now to introduce something new which I think unique and very important. It is the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots program started in Tanzania in 1991 with twelve young people who wanted to make a difference in their community. I think that this organization makes children aware of environmental issues and the ability of people to be an effective part of their community. This is so very important now in our day and age. I am not saying that it is better than the organizations that I have listed above but that it is a different approach. Always with children, what helps with one may not help with another and it is therefore good to have as many different and interesting ideas as possible. A link to the Jane Goodall Institute Roots and Shoots program is found here and here is the Canada link. Popularity with this program is growing in Canada. Apparently it is being implemented in some schools. Ask your children if they would be interested…get them involved in the environment and their community.
In the meantime I would like to share a simple scavenger hunt that any parent can play with their children. It is simple and can be played at any age….teenager too if they are not nature buffs. Here is the scavenger hunt. If the children are older, a simple walk in the woods while listening for sounds of birds and watching for wild animals is an idea. I loved the forest when I was young and it healed me in times of trouble but was also there everyday for just a walk through. I never realized how deep my love for nature went until now. At a trying time when I was about 22 years old the White Mountains of New Hampshire healed my tattered soul and once again, nature helped me in no ways any man could. The link to nature can be strong and it heals the soul. Please help your children feel this connection for their sake and for the sake of the planet! They are future custodians of our planet!!!