God wants us to be Nature Lovers, enjoying His creation. Genesis 1:25 is in the middle of the creation story, and it says, “God made all kinds of wild animals and livestock. He made all kinds of animals that move along the ground. And God saw that it was good.”
Of course He wants us to love nature! And who wouldn’t be a nature lover? His creation is amazing – full of beauty and splendor, power and mystery. When I saw this on the Christian Characteristic Traits list that we’re working through, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Except… I have a hard time loving nature at times (late summer comes to mind). And spring is actually my least favorite time in nature right now. Isn’t that backwards? The entire world is bursting forth with new life and beauty, and I prefer to drive through it with my windows up tight. Because spring in our house = asthma. All of that yellow pollen swirling around and… pollenating… things causes allergic reactions in my son and brings on weeks of asthma-related breathing problems.
So even setting aside my aversion to all things buggy and my intense dislike of heat, I still want to hole up in my house during the most glorious time of the year to be out in nature. We are working on some different things that could help change that for us this year, but how do I instill a love of nature in my children when we can’t be outside?
We bring the outside in. Meet Winnie.
A little duck-thingie purchased on rock-bottom sale in the middle of deep winter – is bringing some of the outside in… cultivating a love of growing things (I hope!)… getting us excited for a spring we may or may not be able to spend a lot of time enjoying outside. But even if we learn about God’s creation from the “safety” of our pollen-free home, we are still learning to love it and take care of it.
You can make a little grass-seed-head yourself with some potting soil, grass seeds, and some old pantyhose. Beak and googly eyes are optional. Place seeds in a portion of pantyhose and cover with soil, tying the pantyhose shut with a knot. Leave a length of the pantyhose attached under the knot, to help wick water up into your grass-head-thingy. The place where the seeds are will become the top of the head of your… creature. Soak the ball of dirt and seeds in a cup of water until soaked through, and place in a small cup/vase of water with the wick-end down, grass seed end up. Cover for a week with a plastic container (helps create humidity and warmth so seeds will germinate and start to grow). Peeking is allowed during this time, but be sure to keep it covered when the peeking is done.
In about a week, you will see your first grassy hairs poking through. And in another week… well, you’ll get something like this:
Poor Winnie, with the sparse hair. I think he’s the only duck out there with a uni-brow (see the single blade of grass growing up between his eyes?). Elias and Donovan will be able to give him a hair cut soon, just to get the ends evened up, I think. He still needs some time to grow and fill in before we do any big styling changes.
So even if weather (the never-ending winter!) or allergies won’t let you outside to enjoy nature, you can bring a bit of God’s creation in to your kids.
Please share… do you have any special ways to help your kids learn to love nature without leaving your house?