Early Nature Immersion Experiences are Critical

It is essential that any Forest Kindergarten teacher or Nature Pedagogue have passion for the natural world and be able to convey a sense of awe and wonder to the children. The inherent curiosity that children have about nature must be stimulated and expanded. I believe that all children are born with an affinity for the natural world and want to immerse in it however this natural tendency needs to be stimulated before age five in order for it to be a lifelong connection.

 When humans have early and meaningful interaction with nature, their capacity for empathy and compassion for all parts of the natural world develops. It is how humans begin to see that they are connected intimately with the rest of nature. When children are deprived of that important experience before age 5, it seems to become extinguished and their capacity, need or desire to interact with the natural world diminishes. They begin to see themselves as separate from the rest of nature and it allows humans to objectify and therefore destroy parts of the natural world. We begin to view the natural world as something that only has value if it is useful to us.

 I believe that it is imperative that our inborn affinity for connection to the natural world be stimulated by early immersion experiences and the mentoring of an adult who teaches respect for nature. Unfortunately, children who are not given, or are prevented from, the opportunity to commune with and immerse in the natural world seem to  lose their ability to access that connection.

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