Nature Lessons For Children

Your child’s first introduction to science and nature will probably come from your own back yard or a visit to the park.

When my oldest child was just starting to walk we would slowly, (and I mean..slowly) walk around the courtyard of our apartment complex and stop every couple of feet to examine a rock, leaf, flower or piece of debris, many of which went through the laundry the next day.

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful small lake near us with a paved path. After a few brisk laps around the lake in the stroller (mom’s get back into shape routine) I would take my son out of the stroller to feed the ducks and geese, climb the hill beside the lake, pick up some seed pods and sticks, and watch the ants and other bugs.

I am convinced that those long walks and impromptu nature “lessons”, before the pressures of scheduled activities and school responsibilities, instilled my son’s love of nature and animals. I am frequently surprised at the things he remembers from those days when he was barely two – the black swans with the red beaks, the goose that nipped at his finger, and the ducks diving headfirst for food in the water.

Speckled Leaf Art


  1. Piece of wire screen
  2. Toothbrushes
  3. Paints
  4. Plain white paper
  5. Tape
  6. Assorted leaves


Tape the plain paper to a flat surface. Arrange the leaves on the paper. Cover the leaves with a piece of wire screen (or mesh) and tape down securely. Mix the paints and put separate colors in paper cups. Dip a toothbrush in the paint and dab on the screen. Use a separate brush for each color or rinse brush before trying a new color. When done, let the paint dry and remove the screen. Lift off the leaves gently and hang the picture on a wall. Find more of wonderful ideas in 365 Days of Creative Play: For Children 2 years and up by Sheila Ellison and Judith Gray.