“Our Lord, we pray that your glory will last forever and that you will be pleased with what you have done.” CEV Psalm 104:31
Creation is all around you, but sometimes you must view the world as a child in order to see it. Some might consider my job to be a dream job, because each day I help people remember their childlike curiosity and celebrate the diversity of creation. As a park ranger in the Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas, I put on my gray and green uniform every morning and drive through a subtropical forest to reach my workplace. But not all of us live in a migratory pathway for hundreds of birds or walk through a wildflower savannah to prepare for an upcoming program. Even so, we can all appreciate the many plants and animals that God made. If you live in a city or suburb, you may feel as though you are missing out on creation. Here are some ways to rejoice in God’s creation with your children, no matter where you live.
Take a walk. Whether you live in a major metropolitan area or on a countryside farm, wildlife is all around you. Squirrels, pigeons, and sidewalk trees are just as much a part of creation as beavers, bald eagles, and giant redwoods.
Have a scavenger hunt where you and your children identify the animals and plants you see on your walk.
Sit quietly outside while your children draw colorful pictures of the creatures that they see during their time outside.
Read over Psalm 104 and then compose together your own version of Psalm 104 based on your walk. Describe what God is doing in his creation.
Visit a park. This doesn’t have to be a major national park like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or Denali. Many cities and towns have their own parks within a short drive of downtown or near public transportation. Open green spaces are a great way to see both the diversity of nature and of other people in your community.
Have a point-to-point walk through a local park with the goal of finding something different at each stop.
If the environment allows it, sit quietly and ask your children to describe what sounds of creation they hear.
Watch a nature documentary. Let your child experience the highest mountains, deepest jungles, longest rivers, and widest lakes by exploring the world through a documentary film.
Ask your child how the plants, animals, and environments of the movie compare to those in your own neighborhood.
Have them imagine what it would be like to actually visit the places you see in the documentary and describe what you would do while you were there.
The Bible also provides opportunities to experience creation with childlike wonder. The vivid imagery of Psalm 104 captures the awe felt by a child experiencing the world for the first time. The pictures of God stretching out the heavens like a tent or causing mountains to smoke with a touch of his hand are easy for a child to visualize. While you reflect on this passage, try to remember how you felt when you saw your first waterfall, learned about animal migrations, or noticed how plants grow through the cracks in the sidewalk.
Whether you experience the natural world from your home or come to visit me in the Big Thicket, you can impart the same respect for creation to your children, along with the love for God who created all these things for us.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Wonderfully Made: Your Child and You