A Blog by Nature

Our Playful Nature

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Fostering an early love of STEM




According to the National Math & Science Initiative in 2008, 31 percent of U.S. bachelor degrees were issued in science and engineering fields, compared with 61 percent in Japan and 51 percent in China. To create more scientists and engineers, it is essential to create an early love for science and there is no better way to encourage that love than to capture that early curiosity with play.


Yet many of the toys and apps that our kids are playing with do nothing to encourage an early love of science. Whether our kids are building virtual cake pops or crushing candy on a tablet or smashing cars together, we are missing an opportunity to answer their questions about the science and engineering in the world around them.


According to research conducted by PBS at the age of 2, children's language skills are developing rapidly and much of that development is driven by not only on their reading and writing skills but also on their curiosity. Combining these developmental milestones with the power of storytelling creates the perfect platform for fostering an early love of STEM.


Article from Huffington Post Impact 11/13/14 Fostering an Early Love of STEM Through The Power of Storytelling by Jeremy Scheinberg

Who will be the next Steve Jobs?

Posted on January 1, 2015 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Nurturing the spirit of ‘curiosity seeker’ in every child


Excerpt from: US Department of Education

The Arts Education Partnership October 27, 2011

Helping to Realize the Potential of the Arts for Every Child


Inventor and artist. A genius of “hip.” These have been some of the words used to describe Steve Jobs – a 21st-century visionary and innovator. His iPods, iPads, iTunes, Macs, and apps unleashed exciting new ways of communicating and learning for millions of students, who find history lessons coming to life in the palm of their hands, discover their fingertips as virtual paintbrushes, and create musical compositions at the touch of a screen.


The Arts Education Partnership (AEP), along with many others, is asking the questions: “Who will be the next Steve Jobs?” “What will be the next breakthrough to revolutionize our lives?” That’s because at the heart of AEP’s purpose is this question: “How do we harness the potential in every child and nurture a Jobs-like spirit of ‘curiosity seeker’ in each of them?” With this purpose in mind, AEP galvanizes the power of partners across many sectors to promote the essential role the arts play in helping all students succeed in school, life, and work. Unfortunately, as much as arts are a part of a complete and well-rounded education, their place in America’s P-12 education system is still threatened by narrowed curricula, conflicting policies, and budget shortfalls.


Undoubtedly, Steve Jobs envisioned and then created tools that can help make learning fun, engaging, relevant for students – oh, and dare we say cool? In much the same way, arts education can transform students, communities, and their schools. AEP, through the critical evidence it gathers and shares with the field, knows for sure that quality arts learning fosters young people’s capacities for critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and collaboration – skills essential to their growth as successful learners, creative problem solvers, and competitive participants in this global economy.

Who said every child is an artist

Posted on December 26, 2014 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Picasso and thinking outside of the box 


Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Arts education programs in our schools, pre-K through high school, will help solve the problem Picasso described.


The arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education. To miss out on arts learning opportunities is to miss out on gaining the very skills and habits of mind we know are essential to succeeding in life and earning a livelihood in the 21st century: creativity; observing as opposed to simply seeing; identifying as well as solving problems; thinking outside the box; and communicating with not just words but with images, sounds, and motion — these and more are inherently part of a regularly scheduled, quality arts education program.


To read the complete article from HomeRoom, U.S. Department of Education click the link below:

 

Arts Education and Advocacy: An Investment in Every Child’s Future


Berkeleyside: Kids get new perspective on plastic, make eco-art

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

A Kid by Nature's Trash-to-Treasure project was featured in this article by Ann Spivak in the Berkeleyside, Kids get new perspective on plastic, make eco-art by Ann Spivak . We just had to share it.


What's nature got to do with it?

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Why give children a well-rounded education?



One of the more celebrated books on the subject of children and their relationship with nature is “Last Child in the Woods” written by Richard Louv. In his book, Louv refers to an educator named John Rick who is “dismayed that nature has disappeared from the classroom, except for discussions of environmental catastrophe.” Rick states “we have industrialized the classroom to the extent that there is no room for nature in the curriculum.” And he goes on to say “ a well-rounded education would mean learning the basics (reaching and writing), to become part of a society that cherished nature, while at the same time contributing to the well-being of mankind.

Monet without nature

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Just imagine, no water lilies for Monet


Article and image from The Nature Conservancy: Nature in Art




Can you imagine walking through an art museum and not seeing any trees? No mountains or streams, sunrises or sunsets? No birds or horses? No boats on rough waves or relaxing landscapes?


It’s impossible, because nature is everywhere in art – from the literal to the abstract inspiration provided by the textures, colors and sounds of the natural world.


Being outdoors can lift our spirits and stoke our creativity. The beauty of nature reflected in art is just another reminder of our need to protect it.


From the beginning of human history, nature has played a vital role in our creative expression. The lands and waters we rely on for daily survival shape how we view and interpret the world around us. And in turn, the art we create from nature’s inspiration becomes part of our personal and cultural identity. Nature’s beauty and power is ingrained in our lives, our history and our culture. By conserving nature, we are helping nurture our artistic spirit and ensuring that future generations will continue to find inspiration in the natural world around us.

Secret pathways

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Polystyrene pathways probably won’t lead to pristine beaches?


Excerpt from https://journeytotheplasticocean.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/what-will-our-legacy-for-our-children-be/" target="_blank">What will our legacy for our children be? by 1plasticmum


“Mum I found a secret way through the bushes to get to a rocky outcrop? All you have to do is follow the polystyrene path! He said this in such a matter of fact way . . . just follow the polystyrene path. As I scrambled through the buses following Finn on the path that really was mostly made up of decades old broken pieces of foam I tried to recall my secret hideouts as a child. Of course there was some litter . . . there were things that people threw carelessly out of car windows . . . but luckily I grew up just before this massive addition to plastic, especially bottles. So when we found a secret river it was not already littered with detritus that had blown or floated in mass quantities. What will Finn think of when he looks back on his childhood? Will he remember walking on beaches covered with trash? Or will things be so different in the future that a trashed beach will be an oddity?

Environmental Art & Used Toy Drive

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)


WHAT: Environmental Art & Used Toy Drive 


WHO: Students at Jefferson Elementary School and Rosa Parks Elementary School

 

WHEN: October & November 2014

 

WHY: Kids learn when they’re having fun. This project teaches environmental awareness, gets children into nature, and shows what can be accomplished by a group. Earth stewardship is our goal; having fun is our priority!

 

Who’s behind this project? A Kid By Nature.

 

Thank you to Rosa Parks Elementary School in Berkeley for participating in the pilot program for environmental art and used toy drive. It was a fun and educational event.


 

Plastic Beach Debris = Art

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (10)

Check out this great video from High Beam Films called One Plastic Beach. Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang take the plastic debris they retrieve from their local Northern California beach and turn it into amazing art.

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Nature & Kids' Spiritual Life

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)


A Kid by Nature was inspired to run out and share the next sun rise with our kids after reading Richard Louv's October 19th post on the Children & Nature Network, Radical Amazement: Nature and the Spiritual Life of Children. We hope you are too.