We spend a lot of time analyzing the practical benefits of interesting children in reading: the increased potential for success, critical analysis, language development and the like. These are all important, but we should perhaps spend more time discussing increasing the interests, perspective and world view of our children. For example, reading can be a vital tool for helping children find new interests, such as a fascination with the natural world. Read a bit about how reading can get children interested in nature and how you can help foster that interest with eBooks.
Getting Kids Outdoors
It’s sad, but many kids today spend most of their childhood indoors, often playing video games. This is a sharp contrast to just twenty years ago, when playing outside comprised much of childhood. A recent article in The Guardian talks about a survey which indicated that 90 percent of parents have never made a treehouse or den with their kids, and over a quarter of parents say that their kids spend less than a half hour each day outdoors. This should change.
Getting Children Interested in Nature
Getting kids interested in the natural world can be a first step in getting them back outside. The best way to do this is to spend time reading with them about nature and natural issues. Many of the best stories out there are about nature.
Consider the classic Winnie-the-Pooh tales, which take place in the Hundred Acre Wood. What about Watership Down or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH? There are many other children’s books that are all about frogs and toads and raccoons and rabbits and woodland creatures and their habitats. These stories can begin a lifelong love of the natural world.
Spend some time reading with your kids about nature and the world around them, about mammals and reptiles, about bugs and birds, about how they live and why and where. Build excitement and a sense of wonder and adventure around nature. This will encourage your child to get out there and explore on their own.
Then, when reading time is done, take it further. Discuss what you have read. Answer any questions your child might have, and then take your kid outside and do some exploring with them. Look for the birds and bugs about which you read. Examine the flowers and dig in the dirt. Help them build a treehouse or den and maybe, just maybe, you can even move your reading time out to that special place.
Being outdoors is healthy for all of us, and our children are no different. By encouraging a love of nature in your child through reading time, you are improving their physical and mental health and well-being. You are also setting them on a path to a future full of curiosity and exploration.
If you would like to get started with a fun and interactive eBook about nature, take a look at one of our offerings like “The Mean Lion and the Smart Rabbit,” then explore the other amazing early literacy tools we offer to get your children interested in nature.