Jim and Jen Volpe and their three children are members of Mother of Divine Providence Parish in King of Prussia. Married for 10 years, they teach Natural Family Planning through the Couple to Couple League.

Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun. The leaves are budding, flowers are poking up from the earth, and everything is glowing with new life. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve been begging to get outside for the last month or so, no matter what the weather. So the arrival of sunny days is such a blessing!

Kids love the outdoors; they love nature! And this can be another opportunity to teach them about God’s love. The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands” (Psalm 19:2). Creation is a witness to God’s loving providence for us, His children. Allowing children to get out in the open and explore the natural world can be a great opportunity for them to understand God’s power, and His care.

Allow your children to explore – to dig in the dirt, plants seeds, climb trees and splash in a stream. There are numerous parks and open spaces in the Philadelphia area, even if you don’t have a large backyard. Find parks near you and pick a special spot to focus on. Go frequently and watch how things grow and change throughout the seasons. See what kinds of animals may live there. What do they eat? What kind of shelter do they have? Use this to talk about how God made the animals and gave them these things for their survival.

Encourage a careful observation of the world around us. This will foster a love of the outdoors and respect and care toward nature. God has given nature to us, not only for our survival, but so that we may draw closer to him. Nature is, like the Bible, God’s love letter to us, a demonstration of his affection and a call to a deeper relationship with Him.

God placed man at the head of creation and gave us the responsibility to care for this world. Stewardship of the resources that God gave us is an important lesson to teach our children. Just as you would teach your children to take care of a precious gift from an aunt or uncle, you should teach them to care for the world that God has given us. How good God is to give us such a wonderful home! We should all go out, enjoy the gift and give thanks to the Creator!