Work Title: A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature Through the Seasons
Work Author(s): Rick Van Noy
University of Georgia Press
164 pages, Softcover $16.95
Reviewer: Andi Diehn
It's an accepted lament among parents and educators that children spend much less time outside than they used to. Instead of roaming the suburbs on bikes, exploring vacant lots, and getting very dirty by the time their parents call them in for dinner, children spend most of their time indoors, often in front of a screen.
Rick Van Noy, an associate professor at Radford University and author of Surveying the Interior, has answers for parents looking for ways to reverse this inward migration. In his book, A Natural Sense of Wonder, Van Noy describes his methods for getting his own two kids out of the house and into nature. His job, as he sees it, is not to diagnose or condemn the growing indoor trend, but to show his readers an alternative. How does a parent tempt their children out the door when so many beeps, whistles, and flashing lights beckon from within? First, adults must connect with their own sense of wonder. Van Noy has observed that children are more likely to splash in a creek, climb a tree, hike up a mountain, or dissect a fish if a grownup makes the first poke with an equal level of excitement.
Van Noy describes nighttime treks to a spot in town where vultures gather. He builds a...