Amanda Wood and Mike Jolley’s Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature begins with this quote from Albert Einstein, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Two delightful ways to take a break from the bustle of the holidays and rouse a child’s curiosity are to share this new book with your child (ages 8-12) and take a winter walk—in a park, in the woods, or your own backyard.

Ask,

  • What tracks, nests, birds, seeds, and trees do we see?”

  • What do we hear?”

  • What is different about the landscape in the winter from the summer?”

  • What animals have migrated? . . . hibernated?”

  • What food sources are available for animals in winter?”

  • How is our city, county, state, or country protecting wildlife?”

Visit local nature preserves. Find a program or guided walk in which you may participate as a family.

For books for young children about the seasons visit online https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/detailLists.asp?idBookListCat=7 or try these favorites:

  • Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  • Which season is it? by Bobbie Kalman
  • A Bunny for All Seasons by Janet Schulman
  • Seasons by Anne Crasaz,
  • What Makes the Seasons? by Megan Montague Cash

For timeless ideas read Sharing Nature with Children, 20th Anniversary Edition: the classic parents’ and teachers’ nature awareness guidebook (1998) by Joseph Cornell.

Image ©Susan Young Hoffman 2016

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