Exploring nature with our children and those whom we have a significant influence over, think nephews nieces or younger cousins is crucial to their well-being, as it is yours!
Teaching our kids to get outdoors, disconnect from technology and the over stimulation that our society places on them instills a sense of self-care and creates a ' time out' that allows them to engage their sense of exploration, both in body and mind.
Activities that are centered on immersing themselves in Nature, in a fun, child like way that encourages curiosity, exploration of feelings and essentially a sense of well-being, happiness and confidence in social groups.
Nature walks are a simple way to engage children in grounding and mindfulness practices that will set them up for life. Learning how to self- regulate through grounding, being present and mindful of all our senses, essentially build a toolkit of skills that they can draw on through more challenging times in their lives.
Issues that effect Adults have no discrimination against age. Family breakdown, school anxieties and self image begin to develop at an early age so setting them up with skills and strategies to tackle these issues before they arise are key to a healthy, balanced child.
Stepping outdoors with our children on a fun, interactive adventure will free their mind of worries, connect to their senses, and explore the natural wonders that exist in their own backyard.
10 Ways you can do this are;
Plan a family adventure to a new place; think beach, park or nearby gardens to have a picnic.
Create a list of Nature items that they kids need to ' hunt' for. Think a smooth rock, or a heart shaped leaf.
Create a list of Nature ' to do'. Think balance on a log, lay on their back and make pictures with the clouds.
Have the kids watch an insect. Ask them what they think the insect is doing and why. Have them watch it for a few minutes.
In a Nature park, Ask the children how many different bird calls they hear. Have them listen intently and if they are able, have them guess what bird is making the noise. Cockatoo, Magpie etc. If you know, help them associate the noise with the birds.
Walk along a beach and collect sea-glass. Have them guess what this glass may have been. Brown- beer glass, bottle etc.
Make a list of the different animals they can see. Think a duck pond, then have them list the ducks, birds, geese and other animals they may see.
Have the children sit down quietly and draw the scene they are looking at. Are there big trees? Ferns? Grass trees?
Have the children collect their little Nature finds and keep them in a bowl next to their bed to remind them of their beautiful day spent outdoors.
Practice a grounding exercise that switches all focus to their sense. 5 Things they can see, 4 things they can touch/feel, 3 things they can hear, 2 things they can smell and 1 thing they can taste. This assists with emotional regulation and grounding whilst being in a natural space decreases anxiety and stress.
Children are naturally inquisitive and will enjoy spending quality time with you engaging these activities!
Stay tuned for some exciting workshops coming in 2019!
Get outdoors, you will thank me!