The Importance of Early Childhood Nature Connection: A Bootfull of Pollywogs

Sunshine and springtime were rare bedfellows where I grew up. One day when I was four, my mother took me into the forest a few blocks from home. She had heard that the “Frog Pond," as it was known, was brimming with tadpoles. Cinching the deal that fateful day were scattered, caressing rays of sun . . .

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Comment by Scott D. Sampson on April 6, 2012 at 10:23am

Thanks for the update John.  And good luck with the funding on this project.  Sounds like a terrific one!  I particularly love the combination of nature stories with direct, outdoor experiences.

Comment by John Thielbahr on April 6, 2012 at 10:20am

Love to chat about our libraries project.  Today, Amercian Camp Assn, partnering with C&NN, is submitting another grant application to North Face for small amounts to get three pilot sites up and running (Palo Alto and Orange County, CA and Roanoke, VA.  These sites will first focus on ACA's Explore 30 summer camp reading program for nature reading and activities.....and then connect with the nearby community's library and C&NN support groups to extend the camp experience year-round with a sort of ongoing Nature Story Hour at the library followed by nature experiences outdoors.  Need the funding to make this happen.  When we hear the good news on that, let's have a chat......or before if you have other thoughts.  Thanks for your interest, Scott.  And, by the way, everything that has ever happened in the past has started with a thought.  Keep writing.  jt

Comment by Zach Pine on April 6, 2012 at 10:13am

John- Maybe not an "illustrated" children's book,  but rather one with some photos like this....


Comment by Scott D. Sampson on April 6, 2012 at 9:51am

Hmmnnn. Will need to give that one some thought John.  And at some point, I'd love to have a chat with you about your libraries project. Happy Easter to you as well! 

Comment by John Thielbahr on April 6, 2012 at 9:40am

I am sensing the possibility of a new children's nature book written by Scott Sampson and illustrated by Zach Pine, facilitated by a connection on C&NN Connect, and placed on the C&NN web site Where Nature Meets Story.  Sounds like a fine idea to me.  Happy Easter.

Comment by Zach Pine on April 3, 2012 at 9:11pm

I've been a subscriber to your blog for quite a while now - and I'm so glad to see that more C&NN folks will now be able to read it.

Comment by Scott D. Sampson on April 3, 2012 at 7:26am

I could not agree more John. It's one thing to say, "Get kids outside!" And quite another for them to know what to do once they get there. I cringe when I hear stories of kids claiming that nature is "boring." Part of the answer is modeling activities for parents to engage in with their kids, but another huge part that you speak of is modeling that unstructured, preferably unsupervised time for kids to use their imaginations to explore the outdoors, and ultimately themselves.

Comment by John Thielbahr on April 2, 2012 at 1:46pm

Wonderful news about the new kids book.  Rich and I and a few others are having quite an email discussion right now, and your blog is a great example of what Rich wants to see (I am going to send him your link).  Here is his plea:

An important element: behavior modeling in the literature. Not just information about nature, but from my perspective, even more important is that the stories show kids exploring and playing in nature. That's the main thing that's missing. They have lots of info about nature, but not much at all showing the kind of behavior we want to promote. It's also almost nonexistent on TV.

Comment by Scott D. Sampson on April 2, 2012 at 1:35pm

Hi John. Thanks so much for your generous comments. They are much appreciated. I do know a little about your efforts to connect C&NN with libraries, and will follow up on this if there is a way I can help. Among other things, I do have one kids book in the works, with more to follow. Thanks again, and best wishes with your important work!

Comment by John Thielbahr on April 2, 2012 at 1:26pm

Scott, you are an amazing writer.  Your blog is just divine and took me right back to some of my own experiences.  I am so glad you have joined The Children & Nature Network to share your wonderful prose, and ideas and suggestions for the Natural Teachers Network.  "A bootfull of pollywogs," indeed.  I especially love the Deelo Wars.  So much healthier than paint ball, and so much better for nature.  Please continue to share your thoughts on this site.  We have a lot going on.  We are a network of networks, and if you connect us to other networks, please do.....or give me the information and I will follow up.  You may know that my latest project is the connect C&NN with community libraries to address the challenges of children's literacy by encouraging nature book readings followed by nature experiences related to those readings.  Please give that some thought.  By the way, you would make a terrific children's book author.  All the best,  John


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