In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.
The disconnect between children and the natural world may be one of the most radical and least healthy developments in recent history.
It's not too late to let your child(ren) start their own little garden patch. Learning to grow their own food will give them rewards they'll reap for a lifetime. The pride they have for their own garden shows in their excitement at seeing the first of their plantings peek through the soil. I've heard many a gardener say they detested pulling weeds in their parents' gardens, but their own little garden was dutifully kept weed free!
There's a meaningful experience for the child with their own garden: sowing the seeds, the seasons, insects--ally and pest, soil care and watering, ripening and harvest and finally, the pleasure and freedom of putting together a meal or dish with food from their own garden.
At the very least, take them to the farmer's markets and let them select, prepare and present the food.
There's hardly a more important life lesson than a child's understanding of the connection: from the earth to their supper plate.
Up close, children seem transfixed by the beauty of nature--
Grandniece Aubrey McCaleb picking Grandma's raspberries.
Grandnephew Erik Chung picking peaches at an orchard.