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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

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1.1 The child in nature

If you look closely at Figure 1 you will see a young child totally immersed in nature.

A toddler laying on some leaves.
Figure 1 The child in nature

You might notice the way she is gazing intently at the ground in front of her or notice her grasping a twig in each hand. You might be wondering about when the photo was taken, noting her warm clothing and the fallen leaves all around her that make a soft, dry surface to lie on. You will see how she is observing very closely the fallen leaves; perhaps she has also noticed some insects crawling under them. No doubt she can smell the damp, woody scent of the woodland floor and she clutches in one hand a thin, perhaps smooth twig, and in the other a rougher, thicker stick. You cannot know what the child is feeling but she appears to be calm, absorbed and content. She is certainly interested in her world; you can see how significant the environment is for her multi-sensory learning.