Getting your child involved in nature and environmental awareness can be as easy as taking a trip to your own backyard.
Now, get your child in as close as you can and have your child take a picture. Observe each creature for a short while as it goes about its business, snapping pictures of its various activities. The more your child looks around, the more your child will see. And also probably be very surprised at the amount of previously unknown creatures bouncing about in the yard.
Once you are done with the outdoor activity, download the pictures to a computer. Have your child label and identify each picture. If it is unknown, the internet is a wealth of knowledge in identifying species, behaviors and habitats. You will want to note as many details as possible about an unknown creature to obtain and identification through search engines.
What size is it? How many limbs and/or wings does it have. What color is it? Does it have any unique patterns? Some obvious traits? What was it doing or eating when found? Where was it found? (Under a leaf? On a branch? In standing water? Flying? Burrowing?) The more information you and your child gather, the easier identification becomes.
As your child becomes more adept at finding species, your child’s interest may grow and expand to bigger and larger outdoor ranges like parks, rivers, streams and camping. By looking up information, you are giving your child the beginnings a research documentation. The more the child uses the camera, the more the child develops skills like how to take a picture that begins to intrigue others and provide important information that others can understand.
If your child takes to it, you may want to invest in better cameras in the point-and-shoot category. Most pocket cameras today come with features like macro lens, zoom, auto focus, etc. Many are also in the range of 5 MP and up creating even the possibility of publishable or sell-able images.
Consider the possibilities! Your can join stock photography websites for free and any uploaded images has the possibility of selling and earning your child a few dollars. The images are also great for school projects from simple homework assignments, extra credit reports and even science fairs. The options are endless.
So, take your children outdoors today and intrigue them with nature as opposed to just video games, DVDs and social networks. In addition to being educational, being outdoors on a regular basis is healthy for both the body and the mind. All it takes is a few hours every weekend and your child can start to love and appreciate our planet Earth.