While walking in the neighborhood with my daughter, we noticed a grandma pushing her granddaughter in a stroller. Birds swooped in and out of a large oak tree nearby. Baby was captivated. As she squealed and pointed to the birds, Grandma knelt beside the stroller, looked high, and named them all, including ravens.
“Oh, look, there’s a cardinal. Look, another cardinal. The red cardinal is the daddy. The orange cardinal is the mommy. There’s a blue jay, too. And the big, black birds are ravens. Look, there’s a raven flying to the pine tree.”
Grandma and baby were bird watching and loving it. My daughter and I joined in the fun. We couldn’t wait to see the next bird fly out of that old oak tree.
“There’s another blue jay! Oh no! Another raven. It’s black.”
How happy we were! We didn’t want to stop. This was simple, real life learning at it’s best. We were wild in our discoveries—and in our time together.
See the world through your child’s eyes. Little ones want to know about everything they hear and see. Use everyday experiences to teach your child something new about the world around her. Whether naming birds, describing trees, or finding colors on a sign, the outdoors is fascinating and full of details.
Here are some ideas:
- Take your child on buggy rides and talk about everything you see
- Bring along a simple picture book with birds, trees, or flowers. Look for those things on your walk
- Find something round or square. Look for letters & numbers on mailboxes
- Bring a baggie and collect some nonliving things like leaves to compare at home
“Because young children are so naturally curious, questions are all around us. The most ordinary happenings can move children to ask the most interesting questions.” —Paula Fisher, Center for Inquiry, Indianapolis