A Blog by Nature

Kids' Voices

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A Force For Change




Whether you're thinking about youth as consumers, future policy makers or global citizens, the question of whether children and young people should be involved in business decisions cannot be answered simply.


Children under the age of 18 make up almost one third of the global population and so have a huge stake in the market and can be a powerful force for change. They are able to offer a fresh perspective and their voices and opinions are valuable not only in business, but across society as a whole. However, when engaging with children, companies must ensure child rights are respected and the correct protection mechanisms are in place.


Some companies have gone beyond seeing children and young people as future purchasers of their products and are looking deeper, adopting programs that actively promote leadership skills to socially disadvantaged children, offering youth insight initiatives into big business or using the creativity and ideas of children to create new products.


Article from Guardian sustainable business: Giving children a voice in business by Sarah LaBrecque Nov. 27, 2013


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

The Science of Awe

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Can psychologists chart what happens when nature blows your mind?

The Sierra Club November 2014

Authors: Jake Abrahamson

An awe inspiring view as seen from the International Space Station at an altitude of 235 miles. ISS 007 crew, July 21, 2003. Credit: NASA JSC/ISS 07 crew image by Michael Benson


In his Sierra Club article Jake Abrahamson talks about an evening storm on a camping trip, “scientifically speaking, the storm brought me into a state of awe, an emotion that, psychologists are coming to understand, can have profoundly positive effects on people. It happens when people encounter a vast and unexpected stimulus, something that makes them feel small and forces them to revise their mental models of what’s possible in the world. In its wake, people act more generously and ethically, think more critically when encountering persuasive stimuli, like arguments or advertisements, and often feel a deeper connection to others and the world in general. Awe prompts people to redirect concern away from the self and toward everything else. And about three- quarters of the time, it’s elicited by nature.

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.

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.


The Nature Kids Institute: Creating Outdoor Traditions

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This excerpt was taken from  the Nature Kids Institute blog by Kenny Balentine: Create Outdoor Traditions This Holiday Season!


"My challenge to you is to examine your family traditions and to take at least one of them outdoors! This could be a family snowman building contest every New Year's Day, leaf-pile jumping on Thanksgiving, or perhaps your family can start recognizing International Mud Day every June! Give kids something to look forward to and something to rely upon!


Our traditions and routines have an enormous impact on our children's worldview. They help kids decide what life is all about and they help to develop deep emotional bonds. Those emotional bonds can be focused around movies, football games, and hysterical consumerism... OR, they can be tied to all that is real, living, wondrous and beautiful. May we all find time this holiday season to create and enjoy some outdoor traditions with our families!"


What an inspired message. Please take a look at his blog. We here at a Kid by Nature couldn't agree more. 

 



AKBN Hero: Richard Louv

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 

"We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth…. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.” — Richard Louv

 

 



Richard Louv is a journalist and author who investigate what happens when humans separate themselves from Nature. Think about yourself. When you go for a long walk in the woods or spend a day by the ocean, how do you feel? Mr. Louv has written eight books but is most famous for his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. In this book, Mr. Louv explains why time in nature can help kids (and grownups) be healthier and learn better. Click here to learn more about him. 


Join A Kid By Nature on Facebook and tell us your favorite place to spend a day outdoors.


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Listen to Richard Louv talk about wonder, and why our connection to nature is critical to healthy development.

AKBN Hero: Rachel Carson

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (1)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson


Rachel Carson, 1940, Fish & Wildlife Service  employee photo

When Rachel Carson was a little girl, the two things she loved most were animals and writing stories. She often had animal characters in her stories. Ms. Carson grew up to become a marine biologist during a time when not many women went into this field. She became concerned about pesticides when she saw how they affected fish and other marine life. (Pesticides are any chemical meant to kill insects.)


In 1957, Ms. Carson saw how the United States Department of Agriculture fought fire ants by spraying pesticides mixed with fuel oil. She wondered how this affected all the animals in the areas sprayed, and soon realized that the fire ants caused less damage to the environment than the spraying did. Ms. Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, which explained how the pesticide DDT killed not just insects but the birds and fish who ate those insects as well as bigger animals who ate the poisoned fish and birds. The title Silent Spring refers to how quiet it becomes when pesticides kill all the songbirds. Many people call Ms. Carson “the conscience of a nation” because she worked so hard to make sure the lives of animals weren’t forgotten. Because of Rachel Carson, people understood more about protecting the Earth and all its creatures.


Watch a short video about Rachel Carson’s life. Join A Kid By Nature on Facebook and tell us which animals you are most concerned about right now. Will this affect what work you choose to do when you’re an adult?


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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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