Developing an Ecological Identity in Young Children

In her popular new book, The Goodness of Rain: Developing an Ecological Identity in Young Children, Ann Pelo reflects on her experience in being the caregiver of 2-year-old Dylan.  In one passage she comments:

“There is no easy distillation of how to be in place with a child.  With Dylan at the blackberries, sometimes we discussed their sweet tang, sometimes we just savored the fruit, sharing purple smiles.  There were times through the winter and spring when I talked with Dylan about the bushes’ cycle of rest and growth, sometimes those explanations sounded like foolish jibber-jabber, and sometimes I nailed the right balance of contexting information.

“The only instruction for how to be in a place with a child, it seems to me, is to be wholeheartedly attentive, genuinely present.  Which means, sometimes, conversation, and sometimes, quiet.  Sometimes, naming, sometimes, marveling.  Being present, together all the time, in generous and interested relationship with each other and with a place.”

We must discover our place in the natural world. Together.

To nurture ecological identity in young children, we invite them into relationship with the world beyond walls and with the creatures that live there. We invite them into ethical thinking anchored by the compassion that comes from caring and engaged relationships. We invite them to come home to the Earth, and to live honorably in that home.

Join author Ann Pelo on her year-long journey as she nurtures the ecological identity of a toddler and discovers for herself what it means to live in relationship with the natural world…

…delighting in discovery and adventure
…developing dispositions and skills for being in the out-of-doors
…learning when to speak and when to be still
…knowing joy, grief, reverence, astonishment, and gladness
…embracing the comradeship of fellow explorers

When we turn towards the Earth with curiosity and sympathy, with humility and wonder, our lives fall into place — we fall into place. This is what it means to grow an ecological identity.

“This article is courtesy of Exchange Magazine. View this article online at

“This article quotes the book The Goodness of Rain: Developing an Ecological Identity in Young Children by Ann Pelo”

About Pacific Preschool & Kindergarten

Pacific PreSchool & Kindergarten is one-of-a-kind preschool and child care center in San Marcos, California. Their goal is to provide an early childhood education program to little children so that it satisfies their physical, socio-emotional and child development needs in a progressive way. Lynda Way, the owner of Pacific PreSchool & Kindergarten, makes use of her 40 years of professional knowledge in childhood development and truly loves what she does.

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