What my six-year-old son says about nature

Fox and skink (Drawing by Simon Ruzylo)

Fox and skink (Drawing by Simon Ruzylo)

April 22, 2014 | by Erica Thompson

With Earth Day approaching, I thought I’d ask Simon, my six-year old son, to share his thoughts on the natural world. The following conversation took place over dinner:

Mom: Si, what comes to mind when you think of "nature"?

Simon: I see a bird, a snake, a blue jay, I see a grizzly bear. I see leaves, Canadian leaves, maple leaves and eagles, fish like trout.

Mom: Where do you fit in?

Simon: I don’t know yet but we all breathe oxygen, we all need shelter, we all have babies, we all eliminate.

(Mom: did you learn that term in school? Si: yes)

Everybody can move, even plants move as they grow.

Mom: How do you celebrate Earth Day?

Simon: I celebrate it on lots of days like when I am snacking in the car, the only thing I throw out the window is my banana peel, not plastic or anything like that. I have a field journal where I can see all the animals, bugs, butterflies, mammals that I have seen and drawn. I like turtles, bugs, big bugs.

Mom: What makes you happy in nature?

Simon: When birch bark falls from a birch tree you can write on it. I like getting grass stains because it looks like I am a zombie. I like foxes, I like their tails. There are only two pieces of white on a fox, you can really see it on their tails. I like red foxes.

Outside, you can see stuff you have never seen before like snowy owls. You can learn life cycles, like pretending you are a seed pod, leaves, blooming, dying…the same thing over and over again.

Mom: Why should kids get outside more?

Simon: It’s important because there is fresh air outside. You can see things you have never seen before. In the summer you can run around with your friends. Outside is where the ice cream truck hangs out. In the winter, I like walking on ice. In the summer, I like swimming.

Erica Thompson (Photo courtesy of Erica Thompson)

About the Author

Erica Thompson is NCC's national director of conservation engagement.

Read more about Erica Thompson.

More by this author »