We have almost finished our first month of
programming at Nature in Mind,
and already I am amazed at the resiliency
I have witnessed with my group of preschool
kids in St Albert.
One morning the kids were exploring a dirt trail at Wagner Bog looking for grasshoppers in the long grass. Suddenly, a girl tripped on a tree root and fell hard on her tummy and really banged her leg. I was in the trees with another child and was watching to see what would happen. She looked around to see if anyone had seen, and then she got up and brushed off her clothes. She proceeded to pull up her pants to check if her knee was bleeding. In the meantime, another boy came over, bent down and checked her knee, and gave her a thumb’s up that it was ok. He brushed some leaves off her shirt and smiled at her. They took off with their nets to catch a grasshopper that had caught their eye. When I spoke with the girl’s Mom later that day, she said that if she had been there, her daughter would have been very upset. She was amazed to hear how well her daughter had handled the fall.
Another day we were at the Community gardens, and although the sun was shining, the wind was cold and biting. The boys were enjoying filling up water cans to water the vegetables that were still left in the garden. At one point, the hose flipped out of the can and sprayed one of the boys head to toe in water. We brushed off what water we could but he was still pretty wet. He didn’t miss a beat, just finished filling the can and off he went to water another row of onions.
Lastly, this past week, we spent the morning in the rain in a small forest. It wasn’t until the program was almost over that one of the boys shared with me that he thought his boots were too small and that his feet were cold.
It impressed me that in each of these cases the kids were able to go within themselves to find an inner strength and the ability to overcome their discomfort. When kids can explore, be spontaneous and engage in games during a walk in the forest they are often captivated by what they are seeing and doing. Being immersed in nature, children forget their hunger and physical needs. Spending time in nature, allows them the freedom to come up with their own ideas for play, to test them, to make mistakes and to revise how to do things. In nature, nothing is permanent and the natural environment is always changing. As a result, nature definitely holds their attention.
Please share examples of times that you’ve witnessed your children showing resiliency outdoors in situations that surprised you.