Make Greener Children By Connecting to the Seasons

lilac flowers bunch holding pictureMake your children earth conscious by collecting the special flora of the seasons.

Every so often, the air is so pure you just have to go out and take a walk with your children. It’s not something we plan for, it just happens. We are lured to the outdoors like children that must follow the Pied Piper of Hamlin, even to their own destruction. Of course, the only destruction in this case is housework and homework left undone. But sometimes, you have to blow it all off. A nature walk with Mom, or in the mom’s case, a nature walk with the kids, on a rare and wonderful day, far outweighs all other tasks. Carpe Diem! Seize the day.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m all about making the world tangible to my kids. They know that when we pass a lavender bush, we will slide our hands over the branches and the scent will cling to our skin. I will explain that the Romans used lavender to scent their baths and called the plant “lavandarius” from the words “lavanda” (things to be washed) and “lavare” (to wash).

We pass a sprawling patch of mint and we each pick leaves and thoughtfully chaw on the fresh greenery. We see patches of caterpillar eggs that look like foam. But it all depends on the season. And maybe that’s the whole point.

We live in a world where seasonal fruits and vegetables can be bought year round and have lost their seasonal connection. So have we. We’re always busy fulfilling obligations. But we must also stop and smell the flowers, and make sure our children do so, too: if we expect our children to save the planet, they had better come to love it, first.

Whenever the kids and I take a walk, we bring a basket. The kids look for things to gather: acorns, twigs, a beautiful autumn leaf, or a small gray stone that is remarkable by dint of its smoothness. At first, the kids are a bit hesitant about choosing items to put in the basket. I free them by saying, “I’ll hold the basket. You look around for things to gather,” and they begin to hunt in earnest.

When we come home, we are exhilarated and exuberant from fresh air and togetherness. We arrange the items we’ve collected to make an artistic centerpiece that is both touchable and something to speak about for many days to come.

Read more about making green children:
A Mother’s Voice Can Make Greener Children
Make Greener Children With A Patch of Dirt
Egyptian Kids Find Pollution With Disposable Cameras

Varda Epstein is a content writer and editor for CogniBeat where she writes about the issues that affect not only those with learning difficulties, but their families, too.
Image via TallChris

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