Increasing Children’s Outdoor Experiences through Library Visits
Early experiences in the outdoors promote feelings of wonder and may encourage the development of lifelong passions such as bird watching, gardening, hiking, boating, camping, etc. We also know that people take care of what they love, suggesting that one way to protect the environment is to encourage children to get outside and form emotional ties to nature activities.
This workshop will focus on nature education and activities from a broad perspective including not just science aspects, but also creativity and art, physical exercise, stress reduction, and connection with plants and animals. The role of stories and nature will also be explored. Workshop content will cover numerous ways that libraries can increase children’s nature experiences, particularly during the summer school break, in order to encourage the development of ties to the outdoors. The potential for library programming that supports nature interactions to increase library usage and patronage will also be covered.
Specific content areas and outcomes addressed are :
* The benefits of nature experiences
* The scope of nature education
* Library materials and activities that support nature interactions
* How it works for different ages and personalities of children
* How stories connect people with nature
* Participants will have time to share and brainstorm how their location and holdings can increase nature experiences
* Participants will receive materials and information for nature programming at their home locations
Lorraine Lander is a faculty member at SUNY Empire State College in the Psychology and Human Development Department and focuses on child development in educational contexts. In addition to a long time love of nature, she is an enthusiastic supporter of public libraries and the invaluable role they play in our communities. She is very grateful to have a chance to help promote wonder and love of nature while helping libraries increase their patronage.