Connecting Kids to Creation: Everything is Interesting

by Rusty Pritchard

Children need to mess around in nature

The wiring is already there. The mental infrastructure is in place. It’s up to us to provide the raw materials. 

I’m not a romantic. Don’t accuse me of putting the “noble savage” on a pedestal. I’m part scientist, part economist. It doesn’t get much more rationalistic than that.

But I already know from raising three children (a work in progress) that there is an innate ability to understand the natural world. As I’ve said before, my boys (12 and 9) can recognize most of the birds that occurs in the state of Georgia, including migrants that are only here a few weeks out of the year. But they’re not special. It’s just that the classification and typology skills of most kids are directed to cartoon characters (think Pokemon. Or does that already date me?), sports stars, or toys. God created people to be able to name and classify things, with these abilities dating back to the creation, when he tasked Adam with naming a ridiculously diverse suite of creatures (how did he handle the beetles?). Our childrens’ abilities to name and categorize entities are primordial, and we as parents get to choose where they direct their powers.

In this issue of Flourish magazine, Jerram Barrs gently guides us in ways of shepherding these abilities, and reminds us that to children, Everything is Interesting–and that there are much greater objects of interest than those displayed on commercial television. We pray that his wisdom encourages you as you connect your own children and the young people in your care to love and attend to a beautiful Creation!


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