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Isn’t new life amazing?

I am constantly astounded by the reality that cells can align just perfectly, making a whole new organism where one wasn’t before. A new and complete life can be formed, whether an animal, plant, or fungus, ready to someday reproduce itself (or at least do half of the work). It’s CRAZY, guys.

Equally incredible is the ridiculous amount of growth that takes place AFTER this amazing formation of cells. There is so much change in the early stages that growth is readily apparent, and fun for young children to observe. There is enough super-amazing stuff going on, even in the brown grass in your yard, to occupy your child's fancy for days if they are given the right encouragement from you. A meaningful way to get your child invested in the natural world is by intentionally seeking out something that's living and growing, and observing this organism with your child on a consistent basis.

To do this, choose an outdoor "sit spot" together. This spot needs to be one that's convenient to access, and safe to get comfy in (maybe move sharp sticks, check for sticker weeds, etc). Once you've selected your special spot, GO THERE regularly with your kiddo.

Maybe you sit there together for 5 minutes every day. Maybe you sit there for 10 minutes once a week. The important take away from the experience is that you are observing together. You're noticing things, and looking for growth and change. It won't take long for your kids to pick up on the rapid growth around them.


To learn more about plant growth, come join me at Fontenelle Forest for Hands-on-Habitat on March 17th! We will be learning about what baby plants look like, and what they need to grow. We'll practice choosing sit spots together, and get excited about looking for new life in the great outdoors!

This will be a fun spring morning, so don’t miss out. You must register yourself and your preschooler ahead of time for this event, so head over to the Hands-on-Habitat registration to get more details and register your spot!

Until then, enjoy this timelapse of a baby plant growing!

Lindsay Cooley

from Fontenelle Forest

Lindsay is an environmental educator at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. She was born and raised in Omaha, and is happy to be back after spending the past four years interning and working at various nature centers around the country. Lindsay has a background in environmental science, and is passionate about cultivating a love of the natural world in children and adults alike. When she's not cutting out craft materials or taking kids on hikes, Lindsay loves birdi ...

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