In today's fast moving pace it's easy for grandparents to feel peripheral in the lives of their grandchildren. What do I possibly have to offer these children who have everything at their fingertips? Kids are busy these days running to this lesson, back to sports practice, then home for some schoolwork. And then there are the electronic time eaters, games and social media. Finding time to hang out with a grandparent is often difficult to squeeze in. I would argue that the idea that everything can be experienced through a keyboard or smart screen could be seriously limiting the next generation.
This is where I think a grandparent has a distinct advantage. We have the time and the appreciation of the natural world to share it meaningfully with our grandchildren. To help you realize the importance of this nature connection, I've compiled several great links to blogposts, videos and slideshows.
Grandparents affect on the future.
1. Slide Show: Roles of Grandparents and How They Affect The Future
Grandparents have had a timeless role in all cultures. As the baby boomers head into their twilight years, the importance of their influence can't be overemphasized. This slideshow not only offers statistical information, but ways that grandparents can share a love for nature.
The importance of outside play.
Did you know that only one child in 10 regularly plays out in nature. I remember when I was a kid, if the weather was nice, outside was the place to be. In this article from The Guardian the importance of children being outdoors is explained.
Richard Louv is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children and Nature Network. This is an international movement to connect children, their families and their communities to the natural world. In this article Louv outlines 21 awesome activities that grandparents can do with their grandchildren. In addition, here is an entertaining video on wonder.
This is an incredible article with some wonderful ways to spend quality time with your grandchildren while at the same time gifting them a love of the natural world.
Barbara Joyce Frank is a geologist, educator/trainer, speaker and author and has spent her career "helping people to connect deep with Planet Earth." Here you will find programs and links to resources.
Using available resources to bring enrichment to your nature experiences creates a great opportunity to learn with your grandchild. Understanding the natural world is key to caring about what happens to our world.
Fun Nature Links
How do you feel about nature-deficit disorder? Real concern or exaggerated?
If you care about the future of our planet, share this post with others.