|The technology boom of recent years has given
kids numerous reasons to stay inside and play, while parents'
increasing safety concerns make it tempting to keep children close to
home. But what is being
lost as fewer kids spend their free time outdoors? Deprived
of meaningful contact with nature, children often fail to develop a
significant relationship with the natural world, much less a sense of
reverence and respect for the world outside their doors.
Natural Sense of Wonder is one father's attempt to seek
alternatives to the "flickering waves of TV and the electrifying boing
of video games" and get kids outside and into nature. In the spirit of
Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder,
Rick Van Noy journeys out of his suburban home with his children and
describes the pleasures of walking in a creek, digging for salamanders,
and learning to appreciate vultures. Through these and other "walks to
school," the Van Noys discover what lives nearby, what nature has to
teach, and why this matters.
From the backyard to the hiking trail, in a tide pool and a tree house,
in the wild and in town, these narrative essays explore the terrain of
childhood threatened by the lure of computers and television, by fear
and the loss of play habitat, showing how kids thrive in their special
places. In chronicling one parent's determination (and at times
frustration) to get his kids outside, A Natural
Sense of Wonder suggests ways kids both young and old can
experience the wonder found only in the natural world..
A Natural Sense of
Connecting Kids with Nature
through the Seasons
by Rick Van Noy
University of Georgia Press,