Connecting Young Children and Nature: How to Educate and Enchant

Presented by: Dr. Ruth Wilson, Professor Emerita, Bowling Green State University
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Young children need frequent positive experiences with nature for their holistic development and for becoming environmentally literate individuals. Connecting young children with nature should be about fostering a sense of wonder rather than on the teaching of facts. Different academic areas — including science, math, literacy, and the arts – can be promoted through developmentally appropriate nature-related activities. Strengthening the connections between children and nature can contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. Learn how to use nature to support the social and emotional development of young children and how connections with nature promote such desired dispositions as empathy, caring, and curiosity.

The primary objectives of this presentation are for teachers to:

  • Become more aware of the many benefits of connecting children with nature
  • Develop an understanding of how nature can be used as an integrating context for learning
  • Develop an appreciation of the role of wonder or enchantment in the lives of young children
  • Become familiar with a variety of nature-related activities which can be used with young children to promote both education and enchantment