In The Discovery of the Child, Dr. Montessori discusses a child's natural love of nature and beautifully describes how nature inspires a child. I strive to give Q-ball at least a little outdoors time everyday, but being in a stroller or playing in our restricted backyard allows only limited nature interaction. So, we found a nearby-by nature trail and decided to explore.
Watching Q-ball, I was able to see so many of Dr. Montessori's descriptions and stories in action! "Normal babies," she writes, "even when less than two years of age...can walk for miles." How true! Q-ball could not be stopped! She also recounts a story of a young couple struggling to carry their infant as they wanted to walk some distance. Finally, they placed him on the ground, and he happily completed the journey himself. As you can see in our pictures, we had Q-ball in a carrier for the rockier part of our hike, but we finally released her, and after that, she led the way!
Dr. Montessori goes on to say, "The feeling for Nature grows with exercise, like everything else; it is certainly not strengthened by us through descriptions or exhortations made pedantically to the child who is listless and bored by being shut within walls..."
Given this idea, it's lucky that we have a camping trip planned for next weekend!
To read another post highlighting the importance of nature within a Montessori learning environment, check out How to Garden with a Toddler.
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Montessori, M. (2004). The discovery of the child. Akkar Books:Delhi.