Whatever you think you know about teaching a nature lesson to your little one is nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison to the lesson your little observer has ready for you. I don't know if it's some sort of a spidey sense kids have for natural phenomena or what but just when I think I've found the most wonderful thing to show my children outside, they upstage me with some profound insight into the world around them. My children's observations in this regard usually sound like absurdity or infancy but it always - always! - turns out to be a brilliant moment of mindfulness about nature on their part.
This morning was one of those moments. My daughter provided me with an excellent lesson for cloud gazing during a winter melt. The unusually mild weather brought us outdoors this morning with a spring in our step and many deep, ponderous breaths. With pride, I looked up at the sky and saw nothing but puffy white clouds floating through a blue sky. "Look Al," I whispered, "Look at the clouds!" Nothing. I brought my gaze downward only to see that she was standing stock still and looking directly down at the ground in front of her. "No, c'mon! Up at the clouds! Look up! You'll never see them by looking downward!" Now I was irritated. She was missing all the beauty of the sky! "Althea, you're missing them. The clouds! Look!"
"But no mommy! I am looking at the clouds. See?" Reluctantly, I lowered my eyes only to see the most lovely reflection of the sky in a sliver of slush puddle right at our feet. Aha! It seems there is always room for humbleness with my children. Always space for learning new things. Always time to be more mindful of nature than my adult brain is accustomed to being.
So! Get out there and do the exact opposite of what you think you "should" be doing to teach your child about nature. Let him take the lead and see where it takes you. You will be amazed at what you have to learn. "Go East old man... go East..."