Young Nature Explorers

I remember when I was a kid and spent a majority of my time outdoors. Despite being raised in the middle of a suburban village, I was fortunate to have the village park right in my back yard. My best friend at the time lived two doors down and we spent our childhood exploring every nook and cranny of that park. We climbed trees and jumped in mud puddles. We watched the squirrels and explored the hidden world beneath rocks. Nature was integrated into our beings. We just couldn’t get enough of it.

As the years went by and I “grew up”, I saw the free spirit of exploring the outdoors collapse behind a fear of getting dirty,, stranger danger and safety concerns. I’m not sure when nature became so dangerous and threatening. I don’t think it changed… I think we did. I don’t know when climbing a tree, falling out and scraping your knee became such a threat to our existence. All I know is that somehow when I had my nose buried in the adult world, our children became separated form the natural world around them. Naturalist Richard Louv coined this Nature Deficit Disorder.

I feel that it is important for all children to have the opportunities that I had to explore the outdoors. It was an integral part of my life and built a bond with the nature that we are all a part of. I hope that these podcasts will help our children to appreciate and enjoy the nature around them. To grow a bond with the natural world. To understand that it’s alright to get dirty and scraped up a little while exploring nature. How do you know that raspberry bush is prickly unless you touch it?

Whether it’s in your own backyard or at a 100 acre nature preserve, these podcasts will allow young people to explore all that nature has to offer. I ask that as parents, you allow your kids to be kids. Don’t freak out when they pick up a bug or splash in a mud puddle. It’s alright. We survived it. We are probably better off because of it. Give them the same opportunity that you had to be a kid.

As a final note…. This podcast is for our children. It is designed to help them explore the wonders of nature. If these explorations draw up new questions, please send me a message and we can hopefully answer their questions in another podcast. I am always open to questions and ideas on topics to explore. I can be reached at paul@naturewanderer.org.

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To listen to the Junior Naturalists Podcasts, visit https://www.naturewanderer.org/category/youngexplorers/