Sunday, June 2, 2013

How Do You Teach a Child to be Gentle?

In our Tiny Treks classes we
explore nature with young
children. In one of our classes

we found some Roly Poly’s or
Pill Bugs. The children made a
circle around the bugs and
watched them as the uncurled
and moved slowly on the earth.
They learned that when the Roly
Poly felt threatened it would curl
up in a ball. One of the children
held a bug in his hand. He was
mesmerized. He stood there
simply holding this little black
bug as it crawled on him. He
knew if he tried and touch it, the
bug would curl up in a ball. He
held in carefully, so the bug
would keep crawling. We spent
more time than we could have
imagined simply holding these
precious bugs as each child had
a chance to experience first
hand what it meant to be gentle.
We knew we could carry this
lesson that unfolded naturally in
the forest to other parts of their
lives. We could use this
moment of holding a little
creature to help them
understand how to treat a
younger or older sibling. We did not spend time lecturing them on what is gentle, they were able to embrace and experience it first hand in a magnificent way.

Recipe to Teach A Child to Be Gentle


An ant hill

A rock or dirt where a Roly Poly/Pill Bug may live A loving adult
A young child


Take the time to look and observe an ant hill or under a rock for a Roly Poly.

Guide a child to observe the bug or ant.
Gently place the bug in a child’s outstretched hand. 

Cooking time:
This is the key to the entire experience, there is no set time.  Some children can observe an ant hill for 30 minutes and others for two minutes.  Take the time to give the child time.

Watch and Truly Enjoy!  Pamela Worth is the owner of Tiny Treks.  Tiny Treks classes have encouraged families to get outside and explore for over 16 years.  Visit our website at or our facebook page Facebook Tiny Treks.  

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