December 7, 2011 6:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

            In the often-quoted “Birches,” Robert Frost tells about a young boy who lives too far from a town to learn and play baseball, so instead spends time in the woods swinging from trees and playing in the creek.  This sort of unstructured, imaginative activity in the outdoor wilderness is increasingly missing from today’s mainly indoor activities, outdoor activity today are usually limited to structured youth sports programs.  This is to the children’s great loss.  Every child is born a naturalist.  All their senses are open to the beauty and mystery before them.

           Leo Tolstoy said, “Nature wants children to be children before men …childhood has its own seeing, thinking and feeling.”

            Author Richard Louv, in the groundbreaking book “Last Child in the Woods,investigates the links of the absence of nature in children’s lives to the explosion of obesity among children, attention disorders and depression.  He calls it “nature deficit disorder.” In his opinion, this disorder is becoming epidemic.

            This Christmas attempt to help the child in your life jump-start an understanding and enjoyment of nature.  One way to do this is to give them a GOOD book about some field of nature.  If you would like ideas about a few more, a good sample is found at   Once you get on the home page, click on the science & nature link.  Below I have listed a few books for you to consider this holiday season:



            The Kids’ Nature Book – -365 indoor/outdoor activities     $ 10.00

          Everything You Need to Know About Frogs & Other Slippery Creatures   $ 14.00

            Smithsonian Bug Hunter    $ 10.00

            First Nature Encyclopedia    $ 15.00                                                                                 

            Wildlife Gardening      $ 14.00

            Nature’s Art Box – – (65 Cool Projects)    $ 12.00

            A World in a Drop of Water     $ 6.00

            World Without Fish           $ 12.00

            Sharing Nature with Children   $ 10.00

            The Tree Book for Kids and their Grown-Ups    $ 12.00

            Young Birders Guide       $ 15.00

            Handbook for Butterflies   $ 33.00

            Secrets of Animal Flight     $ 7.00

            Lost in the Woods    $ 20.00

            Curious Critters        $ 20.00

            Finding Your Wings (A young birder’s workbook)     $ 15.00

            All the above books are available from and Barnes and  Some can also be found at local bookstores, with the ones in Red available at the Nature Shop at TREC. Open a new world to your child or grandchild, get them involved in the natural world and join in their adventures.  Talk to them.  Listen to them.  See where their interests lie.

            Remember what the old Navajo proverb says, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”



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