Thursday, January 1, 2015

Make New Nature Habits

Happy New Year everyone!! The Whirlpool of Life has taken a lengthy hiatus as I finished my most recent book, "How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature." Oh, and I have a day job to contend with too at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. However, the book is now completed and scheduled for release on March 24th. Here's the Amazon page, in case you're interested. 

So I thought it'd be appropriate to feature a parallel countdown of nature mentoring tips, building on tips I have shared before. But let's call these the Nature Mentoring Top 10. And, since there's no better time of year to consider establishing new habits, we'll kick things off with some new nature habits.




Nature Mentoring Tip #10
MAKE NEW HABITS
Changing behaviors is all about making new habits. So start a habit of getting the children in your life into nature more often. Take some time to discover the varieties of wild or semiwild nature close to your home and explore these places with your children. For young children, it might be the local park, the schoolyard, or your backyard. Even a few minutes a day is a great start. Chances are you and your kids will quickly discover that there’s far more to see and do than you imagined. Most young children will have no problem engaging with their natural surroundings. Their curious minds are built to do just that. Older children who’ve established a bias toward electronic screens may take a little more coaxing; this is where grown-ups need to exercise some imagination, and even foster a trickster mentality. Rather than telling children that they need to go out because it’s good for them, think about encouraging them to play games like tag and kick the can. The key here is to establish nature as the fun and preferred option for playtime. And here’s another habit to work on: the more you demonstrate the value of nature through your own actions, the more kids will tend to adopt the same value.

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