By Catherine Hume
Here in the United Kingdom on the opposite side of the world from New Zealand, our days are getting longer as yours are getting shorter. In my local park the swans have had triplets, the flowers are out in bloom and people are lying down, busying getting a suntan. Our late spring and early summer are here.
It’s at this time of year that parents, schools and activities groups take children out to farms, local parks and nature reserves to show children the wonders of nature. Baby animals have been born and the weather is warm and dry – and so are the kids.
But I think that people who take children out in the warmer weather only are missing a trick. In Norway there is a saying, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” If we wrap up warm, wear waterproofs and wellington boots there is nothing to stop us and the children in our lives to go our as the weather gets wetter and colder.
At the nature reserve close to where I lived in Ghent, Belgium, in each season there was a klimaatwalderen – a guided tour around the nature reserve. By doing this, the park rangers showed the seasonal changes to the trees, shrubs and animals. If we take our little ones out during the colder months as well as the warmer months, they get a better grasp of nature.