The Did You Know Project
Posted by Erin Boehme
Did you know that every day there is something to wonder about?
It’s true! What can you discover about the birds, beasts and plants that live around you? What do your children have to share about their relationship to nature?
You can start a “Did you know?” board in your home.
Say “huh?” instead of “no”. Become comfortable with not knowing.
Allow your children to lead the discovery. The answer is less important than the journey. Honor the relationship that is being built between the human and nature. We promise it will be magical and much more fun than seeking facts adult style…borrrring. Hold the answer, you can do it.
Allow imaginative, creative and playful facts and stories to thread through your board.
My daughter was the Antelope when she was 5 and her “Did you know?” stated: “Did you know that antelopes have 5 legs, that is why they run so fast.” True, the Pronghorn Antelope is the fastest land mammal in North America.
Children know things: There’s no need to make corrections of their "facts" Children also grow up and they can iron out the details later. What’s important is that children get to keep the connection now.
The Beginner's Mind:
If you are a seasoned naturalist, use the beginner’s mind when you practice collecting “Did you knows?” with your children.
If you are truly a beginner or truly in beginner’s mind, celebrate! You are about to embark on an exciting journey.
Add drawings to your board: some things need to be expressed in pictures.
Not you friends: Google and scientific/environmental studies are not the right resources for this project.
Your friends: Keen observation(even out the window while you wash dishes) long walks, curiosity, field guides, stories and phone calls to grandparents and friends. Pssst, secret...grandparents like to be asked lots of questions about nature, they’ve been around a long time).
This is not a homework assignment: Please do not treat this like an assignment, get a couple started, model by being curious, put up "Did you knows?" when they happen, this is an authentic wonder moment, enjoy!
Caution: Once you start this project could go on your whole life!
Wild Roots staff authors include Erin Boehme, Lia Grippo, CJ Cintas, Anne McCarthy, Tyler Starbard, Jenn Sepulveda, Heather Young, Amalia Smith Hale, Natalia Pareja...