Nature is good for kids – that much we know.
But what can we do as adults to help children fall in love with nature and get them back outdoors? Dr. Scott D. Sampson is on a mission to answer that question in his new book How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). To celebrate that my Facebook page reached 1,500 followers this week I will be giving away one copy of this book, so make sure to enter the giveaway at the end!
How to Raise a Wild Child is a tool kit for parents, teachers, and other caregivers who want to connect children with nature, and it is full of well-researched facts as well as hands-on advice. In the book Sampson, who is best known as the popular host of PBS Kids’ Dinosaur Train, shares 10 of his best secrets for raising a wild child, excerpted below, with permission from the publisher:
Secret #1 for Raising a Wild Child
A deep connection with nature doesn’t arise only through periodic trips to national parks or other wilderness. While such trips can leave deep impressions, even more important are abundant experiences in wild or semi-wild places, typically close to home.
Secret #2 for Raising a Wild Child
Children will tend to value what you value, so start noticing nature yourself, taking a few minutes each day to become more aware of the other-than-human world around you.
Secret #3 for Raising a Wild Child
Pay close attention to children’s interactions with nature and follow their lead. Tailoring experiences and questions to kids’ specific interests is the best path toward inspiring passion for the natural world.
Secret #4 for Raising a Wild Child
Begin with the big idea that everything (including us) is interwoven with everything else. Then seek out regular opportunities to feed the flame of wonder with this insight. We are part of nature, and nature is part of us.
Secret #5 for Raising a Wild Child
Everything around us is interconnected not just through the ecological flow of energy and matter, but also the flow of relationships through time. We’re surrounded by relatives, all of us intertwined in a grand, unfinished story. Understanding and experiencing this story can help foster deep nature connection.
Secret #6 for Raising a Wild Child
Perhaps the greatest secret of being a nature mentor during the early childhood years is at once the easiest and most difficult thing to do. It is, simply, to get kids outside, get out of the way, and let ’em play!
Secret #7 for Raising a Wild Child
For children in middle school, tap into their longings by fostering nature experiences with plenty of exploration, autonomy, and demonstrations of competence.
Secret #8 for Raising a Wild Child
Create opportunities for regular time in wild nature where adolescents can engage in challenging, adventurous activities with one another.
Secret #9 for Raising a Wild Child
Mentor the children in your life to embrace both technology and nature, to establish a balance where high-tech and nature-loving become the thriving norm.
Secret #10 for Raising a Wild Child
Rather than sharing knowledge and expertise, your chief goal as a nature mentor is to help instill a deep longing for nature.
There is MUCH more to learn from this book and now you have the chance to win your own copy by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway below. The giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada only and ends at midnight on April 24, 2015. If luck is not on your side this time, click hereto purchase a copy of the book.
Disclaimer: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt generously provided a free copy of How to Raise a Wild Child for this giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.