This week we will look at the many flowers blooming in our community. I couldn’t possibly include them all so I’ve gathered some of the most common and marked those which we can pick and those which are best left in place.
You will need:
When you’ve gathered a collection of flowers from your yard and neighbourhood bring them home to create a beautiful pressed flower Mother’s Day card. (you can speed up your flower pressing project by using an iron)
My #1 goal is always toward stewardship.
Stewardship is when we take the time to care for something outside of ourselves.
As humans we are always going to pick and harvest natural materials so it is important to instill some mindfulness toward that activity when we are with our little ones. Just because we “can” pick it doesn’t mean we should pick it.
If you’d like to continue your flower hunting in a nature park or on a trail make sure to remind your little one to not pick the wildflowers .
There are some wonderful local resources for identifying flowers.
My favorite field guide is an out of print one called Plants of Southern Interior BC that you can sometimes find on Amazon.
We have a local Facebook group called the Kamloops Wildflower Project where some local naturalists share their vast knowledge.
Young children are increasingly engaged in structured activities such as dance, music, soccer and while these are good they are losing the opportunity for unstructured play and it’s hurting their development.
Playing in a playground where every tree is carefully planted has a different quality than play that takes place in a natural environment. Think back to a camping trip where your children played for hours barely supervised and imagine spending even an hour at the park that way.
Children’s emotional and affective values of nature develop earlier than their abstract, logical and rational perspectives
The natural world offers sensory stimulation and physical diversity which is critical for childhood experiences; it impacts their morals, values and actions. Children who live and play in close relationship to nature form a bond that lasts a lifetime.
Research shows that kids who are involved in nature have increased academic performance, attention spans, language and social skills. Nature also gives kids the opportunity to be more creative, imaginative, to problem-solve, and to self-regulate, which increases self-confidence and reduces stress.
Children need unstructured play time in order to learn about themselves and the world. Playing in a natural environment allows children to take risks, discover limitations and make judgements to a greater degree than playing in a soccer field. A child who has roamed the hills of their community is more likely to care about what goes on in that community.
From the shores of the Thompson River to the hills of Kenna Cartwright and Peterson Creek Kamloops is full of natural exploration opportunities. Best of all none of it will cost you a dime.
This article was published in the Natural Nurturing Guide in Spring 2014