Children from Canberra Quaker Regional Meeting, Canberra, ACT, Australia, painting stones that they then gave as gifts to places they felt needed some love and beauty. Photo by Wilma Davidson.
Children are deeply connected to nature. They know that many places on the Earth are hurting, and they are disturbed by that and want to do something to help. Over the years, many RadJoy parents and teachers have discovered that, instead of trying to protect children from the many problems plaguing the trees, mountains, rivers, and city neighborhoods they love, they can give them the opportunity to do something to “make Mother Earth feel better,” as one mother put it.
“This year our theme was the earth,” Wilma wrote. “It included a session in which children painted rocks and placed them in spots they felt needed love and care.” It was up to the children themselves to determine which places would receive their gifts.
When children can go to a hurt place and do something fun, adventurous, and creative there, they become more engaged in their world. And that means they’re on their way to becoming adults who will put a priority on protecting the places that are important to them.