Absolutely the greatest contribution I can make toward Earth's stewardship is to raise children who care.
It makes sense to me that raising my children in a caring family environment will grow in them a greater capacity for empathy and compassion not only toward themselves and others but also their communities and world. Children generally care more deeply about what their parents hold and express as family values. To nurture my children's interest in nature, I began early in my parenting to take them outdoors and to share in their curiosity and wonder.
It's not enough to say we care for the planet: We must live it and model it to our children, and I've learned that this is best done together. Here are some ways I've found to get my whole family out into nature:
- Plant a tree.
- Pick up litter in the park.
- Construct bee, bat, and bird houses.
- Participate in citizen scientist pollinator, bird, and toad counts.
- Watch nature documentaries.
- Visit the local natural history museum.
- Go camping.
- Turn over a log to discover insects underneath.
- Go to the zoo.
- Watch the birds and squirrels.
- Take a walk.
- Go cloud-watching.
- Pick wildflowers.
- Wade in a creek.
What are your favorite activities to do in nature? What is one activity you can share with your child this week?