Show don’t tell: Giving kids the gift of observation

What you do in the outdoors is more important than what you say.

Show them how to observe by being an active observer.

Show them with your enthusiasm and excitement about the world.

Show them by asking questions and encouraging questions.

And most of all, show them by being fearless.

This is the greatest gift you can give kids.

So what do you do when you have fear or your kids want to explore something that makes your skin crawl, like insects?

First relax. Insects are fun to watch and most are harmless. Then, try this simple activity.

Lift a log or a rock and ask: What are they doing? What do they look like?  Put your find in a jar and ask: Can you see their mouth parts? Their legs?  What colors do you see? What do you think they eat?  Use online resources like this simple activity guide. Give them a clipboard and ask them to draw what they see. If you don’t know something, you can look it up with the kids.

It’s okay to say, “I don’t know, but we can find out.”

Show them how to learn and you will create curious, life-long learners.

And what could be better than that?

Have fun out there and tell me about your experiences with kids in the outdoors.
How do you overcome fear?


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