Engaging the Senses for Fostering Nature Connection

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Educators have long known that engaging multiple senses enhances learning.

Here are some tips from on incorporating the senses into nature interpretation:
  • Sight: Invite closer examination of natural phenomena. Point out colors, lines, textures and shapes.
  • Smell: Offer opportunities to compare and describe different scents–sage’s savor, lemonade berry’s tang and bay laurel’s freshness.
  • Touch: Ask visitors to finger rough bark, a furry leaf or sandy soil. Don’t be afraid to let them get dirty.
  • You can also tantalize senses with rich descriptions and stories, asking visitors to respond to a question and allowing them to personalize the experience by sharing their reactions.

If you can help people incorporate all their senses into “seeing” in at least one new way, you increase the likelihood that that they will form a meaningful connection with the land creating stewards and park advocates who will fight to keep open spaces open.