“What if parents, grandparents, and kids around the country were to band together to create nature clubs for families? What if this new form of social/nature networking were to spread as quickly as book clubs and Neighborhood Watches did in recent decades? We would be well on our way to true cultural change.”
- Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and Chairman, Children & Nature Network
My Nature Club for Kids in grades K-6 began today. The program is being offered through my local town's Park and Recreation and I'm really excited about it. Teaching children to love our earth is something I am passionate about and it feels really good to be a part of something like this.
This week we learned about different types of pinecones and what pinecones really are. Do you know? This is a wonderful description by Kate Simmons:
"Believe it or not, there are two types of pinecones. The female (girl) cones are the woody, pointy, scaly kind that you probably first imagine when you think of cones. They hold the beginnings of pine tree seeds.
The male (boy) pinecones are smaller and look more like plants than cones! Male pine cones hold pollen sacs, and it just so happens that pollen is what the female pinecones need to get their seeds ready for scattering!
So how does the pollen from the male cones make it to the female cones? It's carried by the wind! The pollen eventually fertilizes the seed beginnings in the female pinecones so they are ready to be scattered and new pine trees can sprout!"
The children found this pretty amazing :)
Outside we went on a Nature Walk and did a Scavenger Hunt. Look at the animal tracks we found! Deer?
When we returned to the classroom, the children journaled in the Nature Notebooks we made together. These special journals will be a big part of our program and it will be a place where we can keep track of all the special discoveries we make together.
The meeting ended with the timeless and true activity of making Pinecone Birdfeeders. This never gets old as many times as I do it in my children programs and the children could not wait to get home and find a special branch to hang it on.
In one two hour meeting we covered so many important topics just by simple discussion, such as: habitats, endangered animals, pollution, environments, food systems and more. I hope this inspires a love of nature in these sweet little people.
How about creating a similar program in your community? I'd love to hear about any nature initiatives and projects with children you are a part of that helps spread the joy of our earth with little ones.