When I was a small boy, I usually spent any idle time outdoors. When school was out for the summer, the outdoor time doubled or even tripled.
Once out the back door, I had to entertain myself, often for hours at a time. Sometimes that included kicking the ball around the yard or playing with my beagle, Sam. But just as often it included discovering new bugs, trying to catch a frog or building pretend forts in the dirt, knocking them down and building them again.
Oblivious to it at the time, I now know that it was this "fresh air time" that formed the basis of my lifelong curiosity about nature. Decades later I still can't very well change the oil in my car or describe the proposed national health care plan. But I can grow big tasty peaches. I know what healthy soil is and how to sustain it. I even know which insects are beneficial and which are not.