CHILD LED NATURE WALKS

“When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.” -Maria Montessori

Walking through local nature trails is one way we enjoy fall and all the beautiful colours that accompany it. It also allows us to collect treasures and specimens that we later colour sort and study. That being said, we NEVER collect off plants, only what has fallen on the trails. We don’t want to take something that someone else can enjoy or do potential harm.

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.” -Osho 

Now that the girls are walking more regularly, we try to avoid using the stroller when hubby and I take them out together. When it’s one parent with both E and V, it can be a little difficult and it’s nice to have the stroller as a backup. But when it’s all four of us, its great to follow and observe them. This also allows them to really do their own thing and not be confined to each other, due to safety. If one goes off, they have a parent to themselves, leaving the other parent with their sister.

When the girls lead, it gives them a chance to be in-charge of their own adventure. We get to see what their interests are, explore nature on their own without prompting and it allows us to just observe. Their shelves, while inspired by their interests and development, is put together by me. Nature, on the other hand, is pure and open. What they come across, is new to me, as well. It’s all fresh. If it’s a trail we frequent, certain sites me become familiar, but even with a little blow of the wind, the environment can change.

We admire living creatures where they are and then walk away and let them be. If they are on a busy path, we help protect them until they are safely where they intended to go. If a living being is hurt, we get them to the proper place for care. (A former acquaintance and I used to care for injured turtles, as he was a trained professional. Having seen what can happen to animals when in the care of those who aren’t trained, we know it’s best to take them to where they will receive the proper provisions and supervision.)

While the girls may often lead, we NEVER leave the trails. If we want to explore off trail, we go to a location that allows it. A lot of nature centers and such have trails for a reason— to shelter certain areas that are recovering, to protect studies that are underway, to provide a safe place for wildlife, etc.  

“I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the rights to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.” -Theodore Roosevelt 

We believe that there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices. So we try to make sure we have the proper outerwear to ensure pleasant moods for an enjoyable time.

Does your family enjoy child led walks?

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