Nature Gifts for Children

In this digital era, when many children are reluctant to stray too far from their video screens, nature related gifts may entice them into the great outdoors.  Telescopes, binoculars, bird feeders (ignore my post on 12-2-15), field guides and snowshoes are just a few examples.

While it may be a challenge to compete with computer games and streaming movies, an enthused parent or grandparent can provide the mentorship to get children interested in rocks, plants, local wildlife or the night sky.  In many cases, that introduction will unleash their natural curiosity and allow their innate connection to nature to surface.  Unfortunately, that connection has been suppressed by a number of factors in our modern world (see: Children & Nature, a Lost Connection); hopefully, the right nature gift will ignite a deep-seated attraction to our natural environment.

Those of us who enjoy the many wonders of nature recall persons and incidents from our childhood that were instrumental in triggering that enthusiasm.  It is now imperative that we "pass it forward."  After all, the future welfare of Earth's ecosystems will depend on the commitment of today's children.