No matter how much we separate from nature, we still remain a part of it and live according to its laws. “I am a child of nature, even a bad one, but a child!” - used to say Baba Yaga from Filatov's fairy tale. Only it is better to raise not Yaga, but to raise the Little Prince, who lives in friendship and harmony with nature.
Posters with calls to protect the nature of today's children do not inspire, but irritate. The drawings in many books about nature or textbooks of botany seem boring. Moreover, the living world cannot be known from pictures - you need to go to a real forest, breathe in its smell, feel its calmness. So that a conversation with a child about nature does not turn into an abstruse lecture, try to look around with his eyes - a pioneer, a young traveler, enthusiastic and surprised. For the rest, rely on the age of your baby
0 to 5
Your baby is receptive to everything that surrounds him, loves bright colors, rich sounds and bizarre shapes. Start your friendship with nature with an acquaintance: when you meet a new plant, animal or phenomenon on a walk or on the pages of a book, choose the most accessible words to describe who or what it is and what it can do. Avoid the standard "kitty-meow", "doggy-woof" when your baby reaches a year. Early development specialists have proven that at this age the child understands a lot and is able to learn more complex images: “The cat is fluffy, claws are sharp, says “meow”, hunts mice” or “Fragrant chamomile, with white petals, heals a sore throat”. The more clear definitions you bring into the life of the baby, the easier it will be for him to formulate his own thoughts aloud. In the same years, ideas about colors, shapes and other properties of objects can be laid. An orange round orange, a green triangle of a leaf, a white cloud, a red tomato - it is easier to learn the names of colors on natural objects than on bright cubes or toys.
A culture of attitude towards nature is formed at this tender age. To start later means to miss the educational moment forever. In the meantime, the baby can be explained that it is not worth picking flowers at the edge of the forest - they will die at home, but they will live in the forest and please more than one baby. Clear and simple explanations can be found for everything related to environmental protection. Of course, you need to confirm your words only by your own example. You can always explain the behavior of an uncle who breaks branches on a fluffy Christmas tree or beats his dog: “It’s just that my uncle probably didn’t have a mother who would tell her that it’s bad to hurt the Christmas tree, and even more so to raise a hand on an animal!” In the meantime, teach your baby to watch the living, and not grab it with your hands and tear off a piece in reserve.
This is interesting
Velcro on your child's jacket was invented by a very inquisitive person, looking at an ordinary burdock. Going for a walk, be sure to find this plant and tell the growing know-it-all about how many secrets Mother Nature has revealed to us. Since ancient times, people have watched the wings of birds and dreamed of rising into the sky, and centuries later the dream came true. And the intricate somersaults of a butterfly or dragonfly - doesn't it remind you of aerobatics at a colorful air show? You will probably remember dozens more examples to show your child: the lion's share of inventions is based on natural phenomena.
From 5 to 10
Preschoolers and younger students spend more time at the computer or TV, which are gradually replacing the living world for them. The child perceived all the necessary information with his eyes or by ear, but the rest of the senses remained unused. It would seem, what a trifle! But as a result, the development of touch, smell and even intellect slows down, and images of real life are replaced by you in the park, out of town or at sea - the main thing is that the “troublemaker”, that is, home appliances, remains out of reach as often as possible. It is not difficult to captivate a child at this age. While he discovers the world, play a game with him: what is like what? The cloud resembles a teddy bear, and the weeping willow resembles a grandmother, when she is upset, puts her head in her hands and wails softly. Let the child come up with as many images as possible, do not prompt or contradict, and actively develop. Do not disclose new and unfamiliar objects or natural phenomena immediately. Ask the child to describe what he saw, compare it with what he already knows, determine what kind it belongs to (at the level of "plant" - animal" or at the more complex "tree" - "shrub" - "flower"). Only after a detailed description say the name of your discovery. So the kid will remember not only the name, but also the properties of the find.
Encourage creativity. Let the child draw animals, trees and flowers, sky and clouds. Leonardo da Vinci is called great for his ability to observe and capture details, especially in the world of wildlife. Depicting an ordinary branch or a running animal in his sketches, he managed to find logic and regularity in their structure. On the basis of these discoveries, new discoveries were born, necessary for mankind. Who knows what your young genius will come up with? Take a magnifying glass or binoculars for a walk: looking at an anthill or a bird's nest on a tree is much more interesting. Offer your dreamer a game: he chooses the role of any living object - a fish, a bird, a kitten, a flower, a cloud - and tries to look at the world around him through the eyes of his character. Such a game develops observation and attention.
Teach your child to listen. Forest silence is the best lesson in this sense. Sit in a clearing, lean on a fallen log and listen together. Rustle? Where is he from? Who do you think publishes it? And this surge, you notice? And the knock? Who is it? Woodpecker, maybe? While listening to the sounds of nature, ask your child as many questions as possible about their origin, and then correct him if he fantasizes too much.
Visiting the forest
It is best to explain the rules of caring for nature using your own examples. But too many "whys" arise in response to the young discoverers of the world. Tired of the endless “Why not quit?”, “Why not break?”, “Why not tear? Give a story as an example. Imagine that we have guests. We set the table, the guests ate everything with pleasure and … scattered dishes, leftover food on the floor. Then they made a fire in the middle of the room and turned on the music loudly, and then they cut off all our favorite violets and roses, which we diligently grew for many, many years, into bouquets. The story can go on for a long time. Of course, the child will be indignant: such behavior of the guests goes beyond all boundaries. Explain that many people behave this way when they enter the forest. This instructive story, supplemented by your comments and personal examples, can become the basis for environmental education of a child.
From 10 years old
In teenagers, not only maximalism and stubbornness grow. At this age, children are thoughtful, strong and whole in their own way. School natural history and biology have already made a contribution to their understanding of nature. It is best to consolidate what you have learned on practical material. You can go on a Sunday hike with the whole family or join a group of scouts, visit the botanical garden or go for a week out of town, along the river. Connect the child to duty in the kitchen, explain how to make and maintain a fire, ask them to look for old bark and dry spruce branches for kindling, and teach them how to distinguish a dry tree from a living one and which one can be cut down for a fire. Be sure to get out of the tent camp. In the forest, try to find mushrooms and berries and explain which ones you can eat and which ones are better not to even touch. If you yourself are not sure about the knowledge of botany, explain to the teenager that it is better not to even try unfamiliar berries and mushrooms. In a meadow or clearing around the camp, you can find medicinal herbs and explain what ailments each of them helps with. The most common plantain, which we trample under our feet in the city, will stop the blood in an ecologically clean forest zone, disinfect the wound and even help a sore throat.
Mood swings are common in adolescence. But nature can help a child cope with surging emotions. While sitting on the river bank, watching the setting sun, watching a bird fly, or contemplating the fire, ask the child to describe the feelings he is experiencing. Dwell in more detail on those subjects that give rise to a feeling of calm, confidence and tranquility. After returning home, ask him to resurrect these scenes in his memory and re-describe the feelings that they generate. And then advise the child to "hide" these pictures in a reliable "pocket" of his memory and "get" them out of there when something upsets or frightens him. In the very first attack of tears, ask the child to mentally return to that bright and kind feeling. You will see the bitterness subside.
No matter how old your baby is, he will prefer an exciting game to thoughtful conversation. Therefore, it is best to expand the horizons of knowledge of botany, zoology and the world around us in the game. From one to several dozen children of any age can participate in the fun.
The very process of collecting a herbarium will give children a lot of pleasure, because you can always find something unique or even unique. Fallen leaves, dry twigs, small snags and even river pebbles can become a worthy decoration of the herbarium. Be sure to sign the place where the "exhibit" was found, and, if possible, determine to which species and family it belongs. If for some reason the child cannot collect a natural herbarium, invite him to make a herbarium from drawings, photographs of plants and animals known to the child. The task may take several days to complete, so it's best to play it as a contest.
Think of the children any of the colors of the rainbow and invite them to take turns naming aloud those wildlife that can be of the same color. For an incorrectly named object or for an object that does not belong to the living world, assign some kind of symbolic comic pen alty - sit down three times or jump five times on one leg. You can reward the one who came up with the most items or named the most original one.
In any yard, there will surely be a tree, quite tall and old. Invite the children to tell its legend: how it grew, who lived on it, who came to feast on its fruits, how it felt, waking up with spring and falling asleep for the winter. The one with the most intricate story is the winner. Instead of an old tree, a ravine in the forest or even a leaf that has fallen from a tree can become an object for fantasy.
Ask the players to close their eyes. In the palms of each, alternately lower objects similar to the touch: a smooth acorn and a pebble, a flat piece of bark and a leaf, round balls of berries and river pebbles. Let the participants guess what they were holding in their hands, and then, when they open their eyes, they will find out how close they were to the truth.