How Can I Support My Child's Connection to Nature?
How to help your child grow up to be a nature lover
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Go outdoors in all seasons.
It does get very cold and hot in NYC, but going outside in all seasons will help your child appreciate that nature can be enjoyed any time of year, not just when the weather is nice. It’s also an excellent opportunity to promote observations as the natural world changes around her. From apple picking to sledding there are countless ways to get outside in any season.
Participate in one of the many (free or paid) nature programs offered in the city.
There are many institutions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens that offer both free and ticketed opportunities to learn more about and explore the natural areas within the borough. Your borough’s zoo, park, or botanical garden are a few of many options that offer programs designed to get families outside and exploring together.
Participate in a citizen science or stewardship program in your neighborhood.
Consider participating in a beach clean up, park restoration project, bird-counting program or other citizen science project, especially with an older child. Citizen-science and stewardship projects give him a hands-on opportunity to do scientific work in nature, which has a positive impact on these ecosystems or species, and will help develop his sense of community. Taking concrete, measurable actions within the place of interest is linked to taking these types of actions later in life.