Last week I gave my four year old neighbor a small hand-held magnifying glass which was an immediate hit with her. We walked around the garden looking at EVERYTHING.
We found empty locust shells, butterfly chrysali, bees, and all manner of other bugs and every find spurred a flood of questions:
“Why did it lose its shell?”
“How does the butterfly get out of that chrysalis?”
“What do bees eat?”
These kinds of questions engage your children in the wonders of nature, and your Ecosystem Garden is a great place to spark their curiosity.
The best part about teaching children about nature and wildlife in your garden is that it’s right outside your door. When children learn to respect and care about the wildlife that is so close to home, they can learn that we can do good things to help them, but sometimes the things that we do are not helpful to wildlife and can really hurt them.
It’s a very sad fact that most children know more about lions and elephants in Africa, or polar bears in the Arctic than they do about the wildlife in their own backyards.
But we can help to change this by bringing children into our gardens, as Michelle Clay has done by designing her Ecosystem Garden with her son Gabe in mind.
Do you share your wildlife garden with the children in your life? Please tell us all about it by leaving a comment.
Guest blogger bio: My friend Carole Brown is a great writer, educator and photographer. Her site, Ecosystem Gardening is dedicated to teaching you to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources, and create welcoming wildlife habitat in your garden so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife. You can follow Carole on Twitter @CB4Wildlife.