There Is Life (And Big Questions) Outside!


Most little thinkers out there have kicked off there summer vacation (hooray), and there are probably a whole lot of parents and caregivers looking for ways to put some space between kids and their screens.

With warmer weather comes more opportunities to get outside and one step closer to nature. It also throws things wide open for all kinds of marvelous, thinky adventures with big questions about nature and our relationship to it! Yup, you can play with critters, catch some rays, go for a dip, and get muddy, and develop amazing thinking skills, all at once!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Live the bug’s life! Get down on the ground and follow a critter for a little bit. What would it be like to be an insect? What would a crawlie like this think about? In what ways are you similar or different from other creatures?
  • Pick the most beautiful bouquet of summer flowers. Are flowers more or less beautiful than weeds? What’s the difference? Does beauty tell us something about the flowers themselves, or just something about ourselves?
  • Things look and sound very different when you’re underwater at the pool, don’t they? Our eyes and ears can really fool us sometimes. What are some other examples of times when our senses are stumped? How do we know if what we see and hear is what’s really there?
  • Popsicles may not last forever (or for very long at all), but is there anything in nature that does? How do we know?

You can strike up a conversation like this in your back yard, at the cottage or at the park. Not only will they give your child an alternative to being inside and online all day long, but it’ll create some moments of genuine engagement, and maybe even a wonderful summer memory.

Happy summer, everyone!