You know those families that show up for the art or science fair with amazing projects that you know the child probably didn’t do themselves? Or the blog posts that you eww and ahh over when you see the perfectly painted pine cones, rocks, and shells. Yeah… well, you probably won’t see that on this page. What you’ll see here is exploring art and nature and letting the child take the lead.
Call it Free Range learning, Reggio Emilia, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling, or any other educational philosophy that believes in incorporating nature into your learning, but here at Natural Beach Living, we call it our natural living and learning.
Natural Living and Natural Learning
Natural Hands-on Learning for Toddlers and Preschool
Do you want to raise a wild child? A child who loves nature and spending time outdoors? If so, you’re not alone. More and more parents are realizing the importance of natural learning and exploring nature. Kids learn best when they can explore and discover independently, and there’s no better place for that than in nature! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of natural learning, as well as some tips for getting started.
We’ll also share some beautiful simple examples of toddler art made with natural materials.
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What is Natural Learning?
Natural learning is simply learning that happens in a natural environment, without the use of technology or formal instruction. It’s based on the principle that kids learn best by doing and exploring on their own. This type of learning has many benefits, including improved problem-solving skills, increased creativity, and enhanced social and emotional development.
Natural learning also allows kids to connect with nature, which can have a calming and centering effect.
How can you encourage natural learning?
So how can you encourage natural learning in your child? The best way is to simply spend time together in nature, without any specific agenda or goals in mind.
Let your child lead the way and follow their interests. If they want to collect stones, help them find a special spot to keep their collection.
If they want to build a fort, help them gather sticks and leaves. And if they want to sit and watch the clouds, that’s perfectly fine too!
In addition to spending time in nature, you can also encourage natural learning by using natural materials for art and crafts.
There are endless possibilities for creativity with sticks, stones, shells, leaves, and other natural items. And the best part is that these materials are free!
Check out the examples of kids’ art and ideas made with natural materials. Then get outside and start exploring!
Kids art using natural materials
By setting out an invitation to explore, you allow the child to interpret the items in their way through the undirected play.
In your everyday life, start collecting your children’s natural finds. Whether it’s shells from a day at the beach or rocks and sticks from a nature walk, you’ll have them easily accessible for incorporating into their play.
Natural Learning and Exploring in Nature with Kids Art
Some of our favorite watercolors can be found here. They have beautiful vibrant colors and wash off easily. I’m all for washable products with kids.
Similar to a Reggio Emilia School, our activities don’t start and end by the clock. They flow with the wonder and curiosity for a longing to explore more.
If you strive to bring nature and a sense of calming into your learning, I think you would really enjoy these posts:
Learning Through Nature
As you can see, natural learning is a great way to encourage creativity, problem-solving, and emotional development in kids. It’s also a great way to bond with your child and connect with nature. So get outside and start exploring! Your child will thank you for it!
Natural Learning Ideas
Do you have any tips for encouraging natural learning? Share them in the comments below.