It’s certainly never too soon to begin the exploration of our universe… “newborn” is actually a good starting point. Today, I spent about 30 relaxing, calm minutes in our front yard with my 8 month-old son, Andrew. We didn’t do anything complicated, didn’t talk more than necessary, and just took a wandering stroll through the yard. No preparation was required, no special knowledge of my local habitat was needed… just open eyes, ears, and the freedom to touch. And, a fabulously simple learning experience was had by both father and son.
I tried to follow Andrew’s gaze, so as something caught his attention we would head in that direction. We spent extra time up close with several different trees touching the various textures of bark, watching ants crawl, and even had a surprise discovery of a miniature monster: an abandoned cicada shell. This bug frozen in time was certainly fun to grab, lightly crush, and drop to the ground.
A rainbow-color pinwheel was also an attention grabber, so we spent time watching the breeze make the petals spin… what a surprise, as it seemed to happen all on its own!
So, explore with your children… as early as they begin to develop a focus… and help them learn to discover the universe, one tree leaf at a time.