World of Wonder (WOW) is a free nature discovery program for families –
an opportunity for them to explore, discover, and enjoy the wonders of the natural world together. WOW is a
collaboration between the Davidson Lands Conservancy and Woodlands Discovery. WOW has 2 prongs:
- hands-on activities/nature information at the Davidson Farmer’s Market
- nature outings for children and their families
Why this program?
WOW is a response to the deepening concern that too few children spend timeoutdoors experiencing the natural world first-hand, referred to as nature deficit. The reasons are many: the lure of electronic media, concerns for crime and safety, lack of information about natural resources, unfamiliarity with nature, and overscheduled children and parents.
The consequences are far reaching. A growing body of research links nature deficit with childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, behavior disorders, short attention span, stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression.
On the positive side, research also indicates that experiencing the outdoor world improves children’s cognitive development, creativity, attention span, academic achievement, and gives them an increased sense of wellbeing, place, and community.
Why families, not just children?
Many parents want to share the natural world with their child, but don’t know where to go, what to see, and what it is they’re seeing. WOW provides guides who point out, explain and teach, giving parents the resources and confidence to build on these experiences in the future.
Most programs involve parents dropping children off for an activity, not a chance to experience it together. WOW provides the framework for children and parents to discover the natural world together.
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
Rachel Carson, naturalist and author
Sample of Farmer’s Market activities: Great Backyard Birdcount, Pinecone Crafts, Living with Coyotes, Leaf Man, Solar S’mores, Living with Coyotes
Sample of nature outings: What in This Creek? Who Lives in These Trees? Where do Spiders Hide? Through the Horse’s Eyes, What’s this Rock?, and Scaly, Slimy but never Scary,
For upcoming programs and pictures of past events: www.davidsonlands.org
To join our email list: firstname.lastname@example.org