Places shape the stories of our lives. These stories become ongoing “ecological conversations”—i.e., expressions of the dialogue between ourselves and the environment (Lutts, 1985). When this conversation ends, so will our future.
The development of healthy environmental awareness and concern starts with a feeling response to nature. Such a response comes primarily by way of firsthand positive experiences in the out-of-doors, especially in environments fostering a “sense of place” experience. Attention to creating a sense of place for young children can thus prove helpful in fostering a lifelong commitment to the natural environment. In designing “sense of place” play and learning spaces for young children, we are, indeed, designing the future as well.
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Wilson, R. A sense of place. Early Childhood Educ J 24, 191–194 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02353278
- Young Child
- Natural Environment
- Positive Experience
- Environmental Awareness
- Learning Space