Engaging Children in STEAM - Bush Walking
|My daughter proud of her achievement climbing to the top of the hill|
I am lucky enough to live on acreage and have bush literally in my backyard, but even if you don't live on land, you can still take your kids to explore bush land nearby.
Teaching children to explore nature respectfully is more important than ever. Integrating WITH nature instead of building over nature is imperative to preserve the earth for our future generations.
|My daughter bush walking|
My daughter loves to explore nature and on our bush walks we often see kangaroos, kookaburras and frilled necked lizards. We also have a lot of native plants on our block so we also talk about the different type of gum trees and wattle trees we see and why it is important that we preserve them.
In recent years we had devastating bush fires in Australia. Luckily we didn't have a fire on our property but only a few properties there was a grass fire that could have quickly got out of control.
While we walk through the bush we also talk about fire safety and forest management. We talk about fire breaks and why they are important. Although these types of conversations may seem to advanced for young children, involving our children in these conversations exposes them to STEAM dispositions which is important.
Playing at the dam
My daughter loves seeing the ripples in the water when she throws small rocks into the dam. We say "look what happens when the rock hit the water. The water displaces and makes a splash followed by the ripples." We also compare the ripples in the water to being like sound waves.
Little things like this can help expand the minds of young children. Recent studies indicate that birth to age three are the most important in terms of brain development. Even if your children don't completely understand what you're saying now, by involving young children in these conversations and activities you are providing the building blocks for easier retention of STEAM subjects later in life.