Everyone needs a rock: collecting items from nature in childhood

Kristi S. Lekies, Thomas Beery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about children’s nature collecting behavior. This study examined the extent of childhood collecting of natural items, the types of items collected, gender differences in items collected, and comparisons between collectors and non- collectors in feelings of connection to nature. The sample consisted of undergraduate students of a large university who were part of a study of childhood nature experiences. Over 80 percent of participants reported collecting items from nature as children, and a number of gender differences were noted. Furthermore, collectors scored higher than non-collectors on a measure of connection to nature. Additional research is needed to understand collecting behavior in childhood and how it may contribute to positive environmental attitudes in adulthood. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-88
Number of pages22
JournalChildren, Youth and Environments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)


  • childhood collecting
  • childhood nature experiences
  • collecting
  • connection to nature
  • human-nature relationships


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