Nurturing children's connection with nature

"We need to help children to develop an attachment to nature. Children are born with an intrinsic leaning towards nature, but we need to nurture it so that they can grow up to become good stewards of nature."

Learning how to identify bird behaviour

Learning how to identify bird behaviour

The above sentiments were expressed by Lucy Barois, the headteacher at the Children's House Montessori after an exciting afternoon visit to the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman with a group of children who study at the school. The children were visiting as part of their school program.

"This is the first time we are taking part in the eco-schools program and with the situation with the coronavirus, we realized we had to take children out more rather than going to indoor places," Miss Lucy, as she's fondly known to the kids, says. "So, each week we have a group of children who go out on hikes and nature visits."

For many years, Nature Seychelles has used the Sanctuary, a 7ha urban wetland, as an outdoor classroom where kids can not only learn about the natural world but also experience nature first-hand. A typical outing allows for exploration and includes activities such as identifying wildlife, looking for insects in the stone and log piles, pond dipping using nets, birdwatching, drawing and colouring of wildlife, vegetables, or the scenery, walking through the wetland on the boardwalk made of recycled pet bottles and even some green exercise if the children are up to it.

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Learning how to identify bird behaviour

 

"We usually follow a theme, so the first week they'll choose one, for example, birds," Lucy continues. "They will do a study of birds, watch a video, and identify features such as beaks, and they will also learn about the endemic birds of Seychelles. The following week we take them outside to get a real experience because children can’t just learn in the classroom, they have to learn through a different medium."

In the beginning, they might be a little hesitant to be out in nature, she says, but they quickly love it. "They would say it's muddy or it's dark because of the trees. But when you do it regularly they enjoy it and they want more of it. And it's good for them to get away from all the man-made digital technologies, just to be outside and to be free."

And the children did have fun going by how engaged they were during their discussions, and their lively chatter and delightful squeals while carrying out activities such as pond dipping.

Mudskippers make for an exciting discovery

Mudskippers make for an exciting discovery

"They were excited to be here. They observed many different things and were thrilled. One hour wasn't long enough and they wanted to stay and do," Lucy says.

Nature Seychelles staff are used to the laughter and screaming drifting through their office windows when children visit. If you ask them what got them interested in nature in the first place, they will tell you it's because they spent time outside playing, hiking, fishing, or swimming. Now, some admit that it's nearly impossible to separate their youngsters from their devices, making these structured visits even more important.

The Sanctuary is open to visitors from Monday to Friday during working hours.

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager

Facebook: http://goo.gl/Q9lXM

Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 2519090

Email: nature@seychelles.net