A Small Gift Guide for the Nature-Loving Child

December 01, 2017

I did an interview with the Global Guardian Project over the summer about the importance of connecting children to nature, and nurturing a respect for our planet, the environment, and all living things. I also spoke about nature as an incredible learning resource that cultivates literacy, math, science and motor skills - and best of all: it's free.

That being said - really the best gift to give your nature-loving child is... get outside! Go to a park, a hiking trail, a conservatory. Or buy a season's pass to a conservation area, wildlife sanctuary, even a natural history museum. Talk about what you see. Observe. Dig in the dirt. Get down to their level. Get out there and get dirty!

Beyond that, I've compiled a little collection of tools that may help enhance nature experiences or foster a love of nature within the home. I've added the sources to where we've either purchased or been given items from that we highly recommend. Enjoy!

1. Nature Collection Tray
Source: Fawn & Forest
Nature trays create a space for all the natural treasures collected on hikes and trips to the park to live and be explored over again and again. Letterpress drawers (pictured below), cupcake trays, or drawer organizers would also make great nature collection trays.

2. Wooden Magnifying Glass
Source: Lil Bellies or Chapters
The perfect size for little handles to get down and closely explore the natural world around them.

3. Collecting Basket
Source: Plum and Sparrow
A sturdy basket, a bag or deep pockets all make excellent collecting receptacles for nature treasures on walks, inviting children to bring a little piece of nature home with them. We've used the same mini market basket for the past two years on nearly every hike or trips berry and apple picking.

4. Nature Table
A nature table is a space - on a low shelf, a table top - where the seasons are observed. It's a beautiful way to make your child more aware of what's going on in nature even within the context of their home, as the contents slowly change to reflect the season outdoors.

5. Bird Caller
Source: Lil Bellies
Lovingly referred to as her "cheep cheep" Ramona carried this with her on almost every outing this spring and summer when the birds were especially chatty on our walks. The bird call is achieved by twisting the wooden part, and the friction makes a squeaking sound similar to the calls of common songbirds. It's a beautiful way to connect with nature.

6. Nature-themed Cards and Games
Source: Sarah and Bendrix | Leaf Puzzle | Tree Learning Cards | Match a Track Game
We love games and puzzles that also foster a love of nature - tree and flower flashcards, matching animal footprints to animals. Each leaf of this leaf puzzle is made from the type of wood it represents, so it's also an identifying game.

7. Wooden Flower Press
Source: Ava's Apple Tree
A beautiful way to preserve pieces of nature from spring, summer, and autumn.

Other ideas:


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