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Featured Blog Posts (293)

Using Nature as the Great Equalizer

Losing Oneself in School; Retaining Balance Through Nature



When children enter school, they bring with them their natural capacity for surveying the land and making meaning.  But for many children, school means leaving some of themselves behind and disconnecting from a natural world of movement and lots of self-directed stimulation. Plenty of the school curriculum requires children to meet task demands that don't relate to…
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Added by Randy Eady on February 3, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Introduce your kids to the local wetlands

wetlands

World Wetlands Day - Wetlands and Forests

This is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2011, especially chosen because 2011 is the UN International Year of Forests.

To celebrate World Wetlands Day - I am giving away FREE copies of Nika And The Painted Turtle

Just leave a comment below and I'll send you your FREE ebook.

Printed-FC-small

We…

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Added by Marghanita Hughes on February 2, 2011 at 2:58pm — 3 Comments

More on Slow Photography

For any of you who are looking for an approach to photography that focuses on slowing down and observing the natural world around us from a new perspective, Chris Orwig has a fantastic book called Visual Poetry (2010, New Riders). Freeman Patterson called photography the "art of seeing" and Dorothea Lange gave a wonderful description of  the camera as  "a tool for learning how to see without a camera".  Chris Orwig carries on where they left off, and provides a wonderful…

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Added by Shirley Hunt on February 1, 2011 at 10:27am — No Comments

Slow Photography

I always appreciate when friends send me links to articles relevant to our program, and to encouraging people to slow down and take notice of the world around us. This one was sent from a friend in Vancouver, and it resonates with our philosophy at Focus on Nature, and with the movement to nurture the child-nature connection. It's a reminder that when we're trying to engage kids (or adults) in exploring the natural world through photography, the focus should be on awakening their senses and…

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Added by Shirley Hunt on February 1, 2011 at 10:05am — 4 Comments

Sunny 92.3 FM in Chattanooga reported this on their morning show: Research shows that 19 percent of children ages 2-5 know how to use a Smartphone, but only 9 percent can tie their shoes, and more ch…

Sunny 92.3 FM in Chattanooga reported this on their morning show:



Research shows that 19 percent of children ages 2-5 know how to use a Smartphone, but only 9 percent can tie their shoes, and more children…

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Added by Jenni Frankenberg Veal on February 1, 2011 at 9:24am — No Comments

Recess, even in the winter!

What is considered to be too cold for recess in Canada and the US differs from state to province. On our Facebook page, we had one mom reporting in Texas that kids are watching cartoons at their school when it is 15°C (59°F) outside because it is too cold. Then we have schools in Canada and the US that are outside when it –20°C (-4°F). …

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Added by Kari on January 27, 2011 at 8:18am — 2 Comments

OVER THE LAWN, THROUGH THE WICKET, ACROSS THE GENERATIONAL GAP…

Chat overheard near the Veterans Park Croquet area, Delray Beach, FL:

A wee girl flatly stated to her new student, "Be careful, sometimes I forget my sippy-cup on the grass."

The eldster student, securing his cup's lid, replied, "I've done that before."

The embolden girl whispered conspiratorially, "Also, I get sooo excited playing, I forget to go to the…

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Added by Randy Eady on January 24, 2011 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Connecting Children to Nature web video

I recently completed a short web video as part of the City of San Diego Parks & Rec web series. It follows Families Adventures in Nature as they explore Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diego. In the process it demonstrates  the importance of reconnecting children to nature.

http://fieldnotes.com/csdprcn.html

Added by Jim Karnik on January 21, 2011 at 8:04pm — 4 Comments

We Are All Connected

sam-picking-peaches

When children and nature mix, something magical happens.

Watch the video..........

Sadly today, children spend 90% of their time indoors.

I am passionate about getting children outdoors and connecting with nature. I believe if we inspire a love for nature in a child, it will lead to a desire to protect it. First we have to give children the opportunity and freedom to go outside and explore, discover…

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Added by Marghanita Hughes on January 20, 2011 at 2:28pm — 2 Comments

Ice Fishing: Resolutions and Realizations

There are lists everywhere in our house.  Grocery lists, honey-do lists, the lists go on…  And this is where my husband and I found ourselves on New Year’s day, creating another list.  Not an exciting list, not a bucket list or list of our favorite things, as usual, this list consisted of chores and mundane must do’s.  All the “shoulds” lined up in a neat row waiting to be anointed with a holy “you are a good person” check mark.  So, I am sure you can imagine my relief when Matt Polstein…

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Added by Sarah Hunt on January 19, 2011 at 10:57am — No Comments

The Parks are Free for Exploring

There are many state and local parks accessible - even within walking distance that you might not even know about. Sitting down with your children to explore your own local maps and destinations is a wonderful opportunity to talk about how our land is preserved and the wonderful ways you can engage with it.

Simple ideas like

  • Unfolding a map - not via the computer but the experience of touching the paper and running your fingers along the places you can visit - is a…
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Added by Stephanie Rach-Wilson on January 15, 2011 at 11:22am — No Comments

Art Attack In The Garden

canvas-in-the-snow

We move to our new house this week and while clearing out his room, Samuel found a blank canvas. "Oh mum, can I do a splat painting for my new bedroom?"

"Of course you can Samuel" I said and gladly handed him my basket of paints.

sam-and-paints

He headed out to the back garden and lay his blank canvas on the snow.

sam-and-paint

Samuel was in his element.

painting-in-the-garden

He was completely and utterly free, wild and spirited…

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Added by Marghanita Hughes on January 13, 2011 at 12:04pm — No Comments

The Dragonfly - my favourite!

The Dragonfly.  It is one of the largest insects you'll see around.  Most people avoid them for fear of their biting or stinging abilities. Still, their helicopter-like flight makes us pause in amazement when they hover over ponds or in our gardens. It's just that they look like they could do some damage. In Newfoundland we've dubbed them with names such as horse stinger and devil's darning needle - the latter more common in areas settled by the Irish.  My boyhood logic told me to avoid…

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Added by For the Love of Nature on January 11, 2011 at 4:08pm — 3 Comments

Beginning the Journey Home



Dave and I have begun the trip home (using modes of transportation that are much faster than our …

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Added by Amy Freeman on January 11, 2011 at 11:08am — No Comments

Treats from the Trail



This article was written by Maureen Hanzel when she and four other folks affiliated with Shedd Aquarium joined the North American Odyssey, canoeing on the Yukon River…

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Added by Amy Freeman on January 11, 2011 at 10:45am — No Comments

Pocono Environmental Education Center

I work at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), located in eastern Pennsylvania, near the Delaware River.  Our mission is to advance environmental awareness, knowledge, and appreciation through hands-on experience in a natural outdoor…

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Added by Molly Jane Check on January 10, 2011 at 1:18pm — No Comments

Schoolyards should have trees and other living things



Andrew H. Wilson Charter School courtyard, New Orleans, LA. Image…

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Added by Naomi Sachs, ASLA on January 10, 2011 at 1:15pm — 1 Comment

Education Coordinator Volcan Mountain

As the education coordinator for Volcan Mountain Foundation I would like to bring kids onto the mountain for a near-by nature program...the funny thing is...here we are in the country, yet we will have to bus the kids there; while in the City of San Diego you have your canyons near-by for many kids to walk to!

We are currently creating an education program as part of their science framework experience, by getting them up on the mountain to learn about their own back-yard. We have been…

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Added by kathleen beck on January 7, 2011 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Each Tree Has Its Own Story

This silence in the timbers.

A woodpecker on one of the trees taps out its story.

Robert Haigh…

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Added by Page Lambert on January 5, 2011 at 10:29am — No Comments

7 Tips for Winter Camping with Children





When the weather gets colder and the leaves fall off the trees, it's easy to stay inside and

forget about the opportunities for outdoor recreation.  The winter is a great time to hike

or camp, as long as you are adequately prepared for the activity.  Your children will appreciate

the added challenges involved in winter camping. 



When you are getting your gear together, don't forget a digital camera, and binoculars. …

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Added by Stephanie Trementozzi on January 5, 2011 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

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