Have you got a future David Attenborough in your family?
It is always heart-warming to watch a child respond to the great outdoors, given an opportunity to explore with total freedom. I highly recommend giving it a try even if your child is indoorsy' I think that the initial resistance you might get, will soon become a relaxed exploration with contented play.
We have probably all noticed that when children are outside, and left to discover a place like a woodland, or a nature reserve or indeed our Secret Garden in Salisbury; a definite calm descends onto them. The I am bored' statement almost never happens outdoors in exploration mode!
I have not seen a child yet who is not profoundly in the moment' when out connecting with nature, the elements and all that the outside world offers. The determination and focus in the lifting of an old plant pot or log to see what is beneath it, is a delight to watch.
There are no toys other than invented' or made ones, and no distraction other than the millions of sensations on offer, from the creaking trees to the jumping grasshoppers.
Having this opportunity is vitally important and parents that regularly take their children for walks or outdoor adventures will tell you that children will be happy for far longer (and for free), putting expensive activity days into the occasional' zone.
They will also tell you that the good dose of fresh air is like magic for bedtime, and settled time at home. In short; going outside makes children content & happy on a level that gadgets simply cannot compete with.
It is in all children's DNA to discover the world around them via things they cannot be told, rather it is the open eyes and unexplained world that makes for understanding of interaction and relationships between living things. A child can learn about sharing, patience, loss, procreation and tolerance through nature. Give them a stick while they are doing it and you will have one very happy small person developing skills for life!
Our project at The Secret Garden Salisbury is about just that, and we add opportunities for children to learn about nature even more than the wonderful garden offers itself, through microscopes and books, and our hope is that whatever spark that was ignited all those years ago for our national treasure Sir David Attenborough; will go off in the hearts of new generations here in Wilts too.
Check out our new exciting bee focussed project called Bee City' and earn your school a certificate as you learn about wild bees with our free schools and groups worksheets!
Rebecca Twigg -Founder/Director