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Participation: Climbing On It

Boy, 4 years, United States

“Fallen tree
Climbing on it
Felt hard
Hold onto branch
I felt big
Go across slowly
Jumped down
I felt happy”

The natural world is filled with endless opportunities.  Here is a child’s reflection of his experience in our nearby wooded area, Downer Woods – he had climbed up a big fallen tree log, stood up, balanced, and walked across the log. It was with such pride that he drew this picture, for he was the first one to figure out how to get up onto the log. Having others watch him, learn from him, and ask him for help boosted his ego and confidence. It also influenced him to climb up and walk across the log over and over again. Repeated experiences are just as important as new experiences – the first time it is magic; the second time there is focus; and the third time (and every time after that), there is concrete learning taking place.