Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reaching Out to the Little Ones

    In a country where technology is increasingly becoming an obsession, it's comforting to see little children experiencing the joys of nature. I help out at my brother and sister's school on Tuesdays, and today the Primary class and I went outside for our regular nature notebook session. Together, we discovered a Killdeer nest with four eggs in one of the dirt garden beds. The kids were very excited, and I used this as an opportunity to teach them not just a little about Killdeers but also about birds in general. For example, at one point the Killdeer sitting on the nest had its mouth open, so I asked the kids, "Why do you think it's doing that?" Most of them answered the same. "Probably because it's about to call." I explained that birds can't sweat, so, like dogs, they pant to keep cool. (Good thing too, because it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside!) None of the children knew this, and they quickly wrote it down in their journals.

    Not all kids are receptive to nature, so I'm very blessed that these children have a willingness to learn and discover new things. I'm also very thrilled and even humbled when they come to me with questions about birds, butterflies, or plants. Their curiosity livens me and gives me the same vigor I remember having when I first started birding. Who knows...perhaps one of them will become a birder someday...


  1. Hi Chloe,

    Thanks for sharing your outing with the kids. When I was teaching, we used to go on a yearly outdoors outing but not specifically related to birds.

    In one of the pictures, a child is using binoculars. Do you know if they brought their own or if the school provided them?

    Looking forward to what you can tell me about them.

    1. Gary,

      Those binoculars are actually mine, and I let each of the kids take turns using them. One of the children, however, did bring his own binoculars that day, and he also shared them. Thanks for the comment!