We share our homes with nature
Introducing very young children to nature from the start will provide the groundwork for a growing understanding of the environment as they get older. Concrete, familiar ideas such as home provide a starting point for very young children to engage with nature on a personal level.
Help children recognize the ways and places nature is present in their own lives and homes. Talk about nature in and around your home. Look in your back yard, out your windows, or in familiar nearby outdoor areas. Talk about how these spaces that feel like home to you might also feel like home to other animals.
Which animals live in our back yard? Do we share our home with any plants or animals?
What do you think ‘home’ looks like to them? What makes that place a good home for them? How does that home help them live and be comfortable? How do our homes help us live and be comfortable?
Birds, squirrels, and insects are common visitors or inhabitants of parks and yards. Birds build nests that are safe and comfortable using twigs and other materials they find in their habitat. Squirrels also build nests; bugs might build hives or burrow in the ground. All of these animals use what the environment provides in order to have a home that is the best fit for the way they live.
Our House exhibit tie-in:
Look at the pictures and examples in ‘At Home In Nature’ (by the exhibit entrance), and talk about the different kinds of homes animals make for themselves.
Visit ‘A Stranger in The House’ and talk about what animals might be at home near your house.
Activities at home:
Go on a nature walk and search for animal homes in your area.
Gather natural materials and build your favorite animal home. Use those materials to build a model house that a person might like to live in. How do people and animals use things from their environment to make homes they want to live in?
Click the button below to open and download a printable version of this guide for discussing climate change with children 2 to 5 years old.