Making Nature Part of Your Family's Everyday Life
Studies reveal that children need to spend more time outside. Research demonstrates that ”children who spend time in nature tend to be happier adults”. We know nature is vital, yet “current statistics say that the average child only gets 4-7 minutes of outdoor free play every day. This means that the average child is probably outside for 30 minutes or so a few times a week.”
It’s evident that nature and outside time need to be a priority in children’s lives, but how can adults make nature part of their everyday lives?
This article will provide some inspiration for including nature in your family’s routine.
Nature walks are a lovely way to get outdoors with your family. A walk after dinner aids in digestion and provides additional opportunities to connect and talk with one another.
Gardening can be a peaceful and productive addition to your family’s schedule. Most children love digging in the dirt, planting seeds, and watering plants. There’s also the additional benefit of your children seeing where some of their food comes from. The most delicious food is the food you grow!
If you don’t want to start a large garden, your children could assemble a fairy / play garden in a planter or container.
HEAD TO THE BEACH
A trip to the beach is a wonderful way to enjoy nature. Wade in the water, skip some rocks, hunt for minnows, and collect shells! The beach holds so many natural treasures to be enjoyed.
READ A BOOK
Choose a book and head outdoors to read together. Perhaps you can make this activity a regular part of your nighttime routine.
DO SOME CLOUD WATCHING
Head outside, lay down on the grass, and watch the clouds float past in the sky. What shapes do you see? Play a game of asking others if they can see the shape you see.
HAVE A WATER FIGHT
Fill up some water balloons or soak sponges in buckets of water and try to get each other sopping wet!
DO A CLEAN-UP WALK
Grab a large garbage bag and some disposable gloves. Work together as a family to clean up the litter from your neighbourhood.
WATCH A SUNRISE OR SUNSET
Make your way outside before sunrise or sunset and observe the beauty of this moment together.
For added fun, you can enjoy this moment with a mug of hot cocoa.
Head outdoors after dusk and watch the stars appear in the sky. For added fun, take a constellation book outside with you and see how many constellations you can spot in the night sky.
When was the last time you blew bubbles? Gather some bubble solution and wands. Head out and blow as many bubbles as you can! Whose bubble floated up highest in the sky? How many bubbles can you catch? Whose bubble was the biggest?
Pack a picnic snack or dinner and bring it outdoors to eat! Enjoying a meal outside is a delightful way to include nature in your busy schedule.
Games are another lovely way to enjoy time outside. Play tag, soccer, baseball, flag football, skip rope, or have running races! There are plenty of games to be enjoyed outside!
Nature is a wonderful place gather materials to make artistic creations. Children can assemble dandelion “crowns”, make mud pies, or make collages out of natural materials.
So there you have it… there are so many fun activities to enjoy outside with your children! Which will you do?
Bambini Learning Group is a holistic child care program located in Edmonton, Alberta. Their vision is to inspire families to live healthier, more meaningful lives. Through innovative, holistic and supportive resources, Bambini is helping children live the authentic childhood they deserve. New locations coming soon! Contact Bambini for more information about their unique, holistic child care program at firstname.lastname@example.org
JENNIFER BLY is the Communications Consultant for Bambini Learning Group, a published author, and creator of The Deliberate Mom, a website full of parenting and homemaking inspiration. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood field. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.