Nature Is QuietBoth my husband and I enjoy being in nature, and we are hoping to give our daughter the same passion for outdoors. One thing that I love most about being in nature is not doing, it’s being, observing, focusing on here and now. I love the moments when we just walk on the trail without talking. Nature quiets my mind, lifts it up from ordinary chatter and allows me to think about important things rather than urgent things. This is what we are trying to teach our daughter – to be quiet in nature, to see the details and to listen to the voice of nature. It’s amazing how much we can hear if we just stop talking for a little bit. So I am not going to suggest any special “to do activities” for being in nature except one – unplug:
Music stops abruptly
Cricket song instead
Music stops abruptly
Cricket song instead
Nature is Near
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You don’t have to go far to observe nature. Every day small miracles happen in your backyard. In our case, a pair of mourning doves built their nest within 3 yards from our front door, and all June we had a unique opportunity to observe their nest right from our kitchen window. We learned a lot about these birds and learned to tell them apart. It’s amazing to see a bird couple working together as a team to sit on the nest and to feed their babies (not with worms, but with regurgitated seed that they hide in special pouches in their necks). It was a great learning experience for our 7 year old to observe nest building, nesting, baby birds that were first so small that their parents could hide them under them and growing every day. She even was there when one night both of them just flew off bravely into their new life while their parents immediately proceeded to extend the nest and started on another generation.
An Egg Is Quiet
Since we had this unique opportunity to observe the nest, I brought back An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston illustrated by Sylvia Long. This is a great non-fiction book teaching children about eggs and showing an amazing variety of eggs. Sadly, Smarty is currently not interested in “labeling” books. She couldn’t get enough of them between ages of 3 and 4, and that is probably the best age group for An Egg Is Quiet and its companions A Seed Is Sleepy, A Rock Is Lively, and A Butterfly Is Patient. Another good “target audience” for these books would be kids intensely interested in one of these topics and parents/teachers creating unit studies about eggs, rocks, seeds, or butterflies. I personally really enjoyed whimsical illustrations of Sylvia Long in these books, but the text worked as little for me as it did for my 7 year old.
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