Children and Nature

Blog

Earth, Water, Air and Fire by Mary O'Connell

I remember the crisp autumn day the well-dressed early childhood professor from a nearby university came to spend the morning with LifeWays’ preschoolers. She was impressed with the way the children played outdoors, climbing trees, balancing on fallen logs, gathering acorns and telling stories with them, as comfortable and relaxed in their outdoor forest environment as most modern children are in their own living rooms.

Planning With Intention, By Mary O'Connell

“Focus more on who your child is
than on what your child does.
Remember, you are growing a person,
not fixing a problem.” 
L.R. Knost
 

Old Gnome through the Year

Most of you know Suzanne Down, who teaches storytelling and language development in all the LifeWays trainings and is Director of the Training in Boulder.  If you don’t receive her monthly Story Newsletter from Juniper Tree Puppets, sign up for it here it’s free, and a great resource.

An Outdoor Summer, by Faith Collins

Faith writes: When I first started working with toddlers, I also happened to read Nokken by Helle Heckmann, who tells about how she spends hours outside each day with the children in her play program, regardless of the weather.  I was completely inspired!  I wanted to spend hours outside each day with the children, too!  I had fond, fond memories from my own childhood of sitting in a field, face-to-face with Queen Anne’s Lace flowers.  I don’t remember if there were any adults around or not.  There must have been, but I don’t remember them.  I also remember sitting in the garden behind our shed and examining the intricate Columbine flowers that grew there.  I remember the feeling of having all the time in the world, with nothing else to be done but to sit with the flowers—this was the feeling I wanted the children in my care to have.

Warmth in Hawaii, by Pamela Perkins

A series of islands lie scattered in an arc across the immensity of the mid-Pacific Ocean, the largest and furthest south of them is Hawaii Island, or as it is often referred to, ‘The Big Island.’

Dyeing Golden Capes for Michaelmas: A Tutorial by Mary O'Connell

We recently spent a glorious morning at the farm with some of the children and parents from Tree School, a parent cooperative preschool based at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center.

The Art of Apples in the Fall

Because young children love stories, and magic, and anticipation, it can be especially enriching for children if we add those three aspects to any project that we do with them. Let's take the idea of making Apple Crisp: it can be done in half a morning.  Simply chop up some apples, stir in some cinnamon and raisins, put in a buttered dish with granola on top, and bake for an hour at 350.  Voila.  But how can you expand that project, and make it into something that your child will remember for weeks or months or even years to come?  Do it by weaving in stories, and magic, and anticipation.  

Children In Nature

Image

Here at The Orchard, our in-home, LifeWays-inspired child care place, being outdoors, rain or shine, hot or cold, is a given.  It is also a challenge because, although we value and promote unstructured free play outdoors, we look for opportunities to share nature together. Apart from unstructured, surprise encounters with nature, this happens in two ways.

Milwaukee LifeWays Gains Paradise Farm

Paradise Farm is the home of the new garden for LifeWays Early Childhood Center in Milwaukee.  Mary O’Connell, director of LifeWays, and her husband Jim have recently become owners of this historic farm about 45 minutes northwest of the city. It’s the perfect location to grow natural, pesticide-free produce for the children and caregivers at LifeWays, while also giving the LifeWays families a chance to come out and help grow their own food, care for the chickens, and spend some time in nature. 

Subscribe to Lifeways Blog

Page Bottom

DONATE TO LIFEWAYS   |   CONTACT US   |   GET OUR NEWSLETTER - BE INSPIRED!  |  Copyright © 2011 Lifeways North America