Appreciating Nature Starts In The Home

Caterpillar photo: Stimulate a love of nature in your children. Plants and animals will bring a love of nature and a love of learning.

I grew up with a great deal more freedom than the average child these days. We lived in a quiet neighbourhood, had plenty of yard both front and back and were a short bike ride from farms and the country in almost any direction. We had creeks, streams and even a large river less than a 20 minute bike ride away and a number of woods perfect for exploring. To top it all off my grandparents ran a sizeable farm in Ontario that gave me extensive exposure to animals, crops and gardening.

These days even when similar amenities are nearby very few children are given a long enough leash to explore them. Further, with both parents in the workplace in many cases, they aren’t given the same educational guidance to go along with their regular exploration.

In my mind this is a huge shame. While today I work in technology my love of nature remains very strong. I still remember details about bugs, plants and animals that I learned from my parents and grandparents many, many years ago.

So what’s a parent to do? I have to admit I don’t have the answer. The extent to which you let your child explore their surroundings is a very personal decision and one affected by the specifics of your surrounding. That said there are ways to foster an interest in nature around the house. I’ve gathered a few links below to serve as ideas to get started:

Indoor Plant Options:
Watts Library Plants Series
Globus Space-Age Plant Habitat, Plantarium Garden Lab
Grow Your Own Carnivorous Creations Terrarium
TickleMe Plant Greenhouse
DIY Lily Pad Kit

Animals:
Fascinations ANTW2 Antworks Illuminated
Marineland Eclipse Hex 5 Aquarium Kit
Exo Terra Terrarium – Small

Nothing replaces unhurried outdoor experience in nature, but for those cold / rainy winter days, or for those living in locations without nearby parks, streams and woods this kind of information may stimulate a curiosity in the outdoors and science for kids who might not otherwise get exposure.

2 comments on “Appreciating Nature Starts In The Home

  1. I use TickleMe Plants with my children at school. No other growing experience excites them more about plants, nature and gardening. If you haven’t had the TickleMe Plant experience…your gardening adventures are not complete. I have seen them attract some southern species of butterfly as well. http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  2. Hi Russell,

    Thanks for posting the link. I remember these plants from when I was a kid. I think it was during a trip to the Caribbean where we saw these growing naturally – I remember them being called ‘sensitive plants.’

    I agree, kids love them!

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