One of the best parts of my job is sharing nature with young children. Practically everything is a new discovery and their reactions and questions fuel my love for what I do. A fuzzy bumble bee, a spider web sparkling with dew and a squishy mud puddle are greeted with enthusiasm. Children are also honest in their statements and feelings on these matters and I keep note of the things they say during field trips and programs. I thought others may also find their comments amusing.
After learning different frog calls, a group of 3rd graders and I walked toward a vernal pond on Black Cherry Trail. We heard the “dunk, dunk!” call of the green frog. The kids stopped in their tracks and one child exclaimed, “that was magical!”
While investigating different bird nets and then learning that birds use their beaks to construct these nests, a 4-year-old leaned over to their friend and said, “I want to be a daddy bird when I grow up.”
Sitting near the fire during a Wild Child preschool program about maple syrup, one child was eating applesauce from a squeeze packet. The others were eating popcorn with maple syrup on top. I tried to engage the young friend eating applesauce by noting that what they were eating also came from trees. The child stopped eating and looking a little perplexed said, “but I don’t know where the applesauce trees are around here!”
During the maple syrup field trip, a third grader exclaimed that when he tried the popcorn with maple syrup on it, his “taste buds exploded! They were in heaven!”
Another fun comment I overheard during the maple syrup field trip: “This is the best trip ever! Actually, it’s the second best. Hawaii is first, then this field trip.” (I guess honesty is always the best policy!)
I think everyone should take a walk outdoors with a young child. They will remind you how fascinating everyday occurrences like frogs singing and birds building nests can truly be.
Photo by Jessica Johnsrud