Nature, an adventure not only for our children
Smallest creatures, greatest fascination!
Marie crouches down and stares, transfixed, at a blade of grass in the meadow on which sits a tiny yellow snail. No, Marie notes, the snail is not sitting, but creeping very gradually up the stalk, leaving a shiny trail that sparkles in all the colors of the rainbow. Marie is completely fascinated. Then she straightens up and lots of questions bubble out of her:
“Where did that slimy trail come from? What does the snail need it for? And what is it made of?”.
We’re out on the lawn in front of the house. Bees fly by, looking for nectar and carrying pollen from flower to flower. We observe how they work, how they seek out certain flowers and carry thick packets of pollen on their little legs. The children learn vividly and in passing what bees collect nectar for and how they pollinate the flowers at the same time.
The lake as an adventure playground makes children discoverers of nature
Then we continue to the lake, looking out for the coots. “Up ahead,” Paul whispers, pointing to the shore. We meander through the tall grass. The coots have had tiny offspring and are on the move in the reeds. Finn counts six chicks, but no, there are seven, Sophie calls out, one has boomeranged and is now looking to catch up.
Family Blesshuhn and their children
We watch the family for a while, the children speculate about what the little ones can already do and what they like to eat. On the way back from the lake we pick some dandelion leaves to eat in our salad. “Ew, that’s gross!” says Finn. Paul tries boldly. Finn watches him, and when Paul doesn’t pull a face, Finn gets a craving too. He is really amazed at how bitter and spicy the leaves taste.
Discover nature and life with all senses
“The flowers are so beautiful, can we eat them too?”. Finn tries: “Hihi, but that tickles the lip”. We collect a handful of the large yellow dandelion flowers and take them with us to add to the salad later. The children are already looking forward to it and on the way back they ask at many other flowers on the meadow if we can put them into the salad.
Not only the flowers bloom during the adventure nature…
Almost all the children here feel the same way as Marie, Paul and Finn: They really blossom when they get out into nature. There is so much to discover and the children have an eye for the many details around them. They ask a thousand questions that run through their heads and want to understand the connections.
Learning to see and experience
Sure, you can answer their questions with Google or books – but what really sticks? We make forays outside, in all weathers and seasons. Learning takes place in passing, up close and personal and with all the senses via touch, sight, smell and hearing.
Between meadows, forests and lake:
The Farm Kita and its beautiful location
The Feldmochinger See, nestled in meadows and fields, and a forest within walking distance offer the ideal surroundings.
It is particularly exciting for the children to see and experience how nature changes in the course of the seasons. Every day is different, the weather and temperatures are always changing, and everything outside is in constant flux.
Adventure seasons: experience nature in constant change
In spring many trees are still free of leaves and let the sun shine down to the ground. The first flowers cautiously poke their heads out of the earth and we experience how nature awakens. Snow patches last especially long in shady corners.
The birds are now going on a mating spree and building their nests. With a little luck you can watch them looking for insects and worms for their offspring. Now we are out in the garden a lot, sowing, enjoying the first green, watering and watching how the little lettuce plants develop into a mighty head over the weeks, which we then harvest together and process together. Maybe a few dandelion leaves will stray into the salad.
Summer is literally the time of abundance, everything is green and blooming. The air is warm and smells wonderfully of forest, lake or mown grass. The children also feel the power and are full of verve when playing. In the fall, we harvest from the garden. Under the trees are colorful leaves and plenty of apples. We watch as the squirrels eagerly bury their finds to build up supplies for the winter. I wonder if they’ll remember all the seats later. If not, maybe next spring a small tree will grow right there …
… and winter
Then the first snow comes, covers the landscape like a blanket, and nature sleeps. We can see that everything also needs times of rest in order to draw new strength. There’s something soothing about the wonderful quiet of winter, and the kids love being inside to color, craft, and play. “What are the coots doing now, anyway?” asks Paul in February. Marie, Finn and the others suggest that we should go and have a look very soon. And that’s what we do and visit the water birds on the frozen lake. The children’s footsteps crunch in the snow, their breath forms little clouds. “What do the birds eat now?” wants Finn to know.
Give answers and find them yourself
In order to be able to answer all these questions and to support the children ideally during their excursions into nature, our guides are trained with a focus on animal and nature education and regularly take part in further and advanced training. So they can give competent and child-friendly answers or simply tell a suitable story. They help children to discover the world around them, to question what they seem to take for granted and to learn a sustainable approach to nature. Without any moralising, but with lots of fun, imagination and a love of discovery.
“The aim of education is not to increase knowledge, but to create opportunities for the child to invent and discover, to produce people capable of doing new things.” (Jean Piaget)
Photos by Gabby Orcutt, Vitolda Klein and Markus Spiske via unsplash, thank you!