connecting with nature.


it’s a cool, rainy day here and we are taking cover inside. lion is happy playing with his cars, so i am happy to sit and write.

weather doesn’t always deter us from going outside, though. i try to teach the kids that being outside regardless of the temperature or what’s falling form the sky, can be really fun! we’ve got great gear for all possible weather experiences and the kids are usually game to go outside. in fact throwing on rubber boots, rain pants and a rain coat is considered exciting!

all weather comes with it’s own pro’s and con’s. too much of anything is exhausting, unpleasant and possibly even dangerous. after our long winter (we’ve even had snow twice this may!) we are ready to strip down and frolic without all the layers of warmth!


recently we went on a great hike. i love that both kids are at an age where they will walk on their own without any carriers or equipment. we brought one small backpack with snacks and water, and a change of undies and shorts for lion. although, he is completely toilet trained, he still mastering things like peeing on a tree, which during our hike he failed miserably. 

i enjoy hiking with my kids. there are moments when we see something interesting, like strange fungi growing on trees that provides a window for a wonderful conversation about how and why the fungi is growing there. we heard frogs in the marsh, so we stood in silence listening to the noises, and our stillness then allowed us to hear a range of other sounds. 


my children, all children thrive in nature. it doesn’t have to be a lot or for long periods of time, but by providing kids opportunities to connect with nature is so vital in their development. i blogged about a book a few years ago that really made an impression on me; “last child in the woods” by richard louv. the book discusses the importance of nature in children’s lives and the growing deficit of the natural world in their daily experiences. you don’t have to go to the woods or on a long hike to witness the wonder of nature, all you need is a tree or a patch grass, and the life you can discover there is incredible. all you have to do is look, and teach children to look; to stop and to observe and use their senses to connect with the natural environment that surrounds them. 

as people we tend separate ourselves from the natural world, creating boundaries between us and other living creatures. but, we are in fact a part of the environment we live in, even though we drive cars and live in houses and eat processed foods. the growing disconnect between humans and nature is frightening to see. that’s why dear hubby and i try to connect our kids to their environment, their food, the worms in our garden and the frogs during a hike. 


being in nature is good for our physical health, our spiritual health, our emotional health and our mental health. mother nature has a way of healing and calming us down and grounding us even in the most heightened of emotion.

how do you like to connect your kids with nature?

xo, mama lola
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Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful pictures! I really enjoyed Last Child in the Woods, as well. We’ve been making a bit effort to get outside and let my toddler enjoy the outdoors, too.

  2. says

    Fantastic photographs! We try to walk as many places as we can- to the library, to school, to the farmer’s market, etc. Not sure that really counts as nature, but it doesn’t stop the kids from treasure hunting and finding all sorts of things, I’d never see on the walk! We also try to get out camping and “hiking” in the Berkeley hills which is also fun for all. I wish we had more time to do it! Thanks for the reminder!! 🙂

    http://thisfineday.com/

  3. says

    I really appreciate this post tonight. Days go by when I forget how much I love being outdoors. How much my son loves being outdoors. It’s so easy to go from school to home to a quick playground trip (yes, it’s outdoors but not really) to dinner to bath to bed. Thank you so much for the reminder. I just now – after reading this – told my husband that we need to take our son on a hike this weekend, before it’s 100 degrees with 100% humidity.
    Gorgeous photos by the way!

    • says

      thanks so much kristi and glad to help with reminders.
      the heat is coming here too, but we’ll just have to explore nature by the beach or in the morning and evening! thanks for stopping by!

  4. says

    Love this! Found you via Equis Place, and so glad I did. As a Pagan living in a large city, I struggle with maintaining a good connection to Mother Nature, but we have a modest yard with space enough for a raised garden bed, so the kids are often outside, attempting to climb our cherry tree, digging for worms, and wreaking general havoc on my plants. 🙂 I was making a weekly attempt to get out an explore a new park, or delve deeper into familiar ones, but it has fallen to the wayside with the busy end-of-school-year approaching. I do plan on venturing to more local beaches and talking hubby into a weekend of easy hikes and camping this summer.

    • says

      welcome, jessica, nice to have you! on most days all we do is explore the nature that is around us in our town and backyard. but, sometimes that’s all it takes. we do try to spend time camping or at the cottage or do hikes, but those opportunities are harder to make sometimes.

  5. says

    Beautiful post and photos!

    I studied Environmental Ed and work with children…I have a deep passion for getting our children out into nature and am so glad to find a kindred spirit in you 🙂

  6. says

    I love your stunning photos of the nature that surrounds you! You are right that connecting with nature is important for our health and yet has fallen by the wayside. Although I live in NYC, I do my best to get my son to recognize the beauty around us by playing in grass, admiring birds, flowers and trees and enjoying the moon. I hope to do more nature-oriented activities with him as he gets older. As for right now, he thinks branches are really cool because he can throw them! Thanks so much, as always, for linking up with Your Place at Equis Place.

    • says

      thanks for hosting!!!
      it is so important to help kids recognize the nature around them; it’s not about quantity, but about quality and about making an effort as adults. thx for stopping by!

  7. says

    I completely and totally agree. This is my first trip to your blog and I loved this article. I have 5 boys and I can tell you that they are never more alive, never more content than when they are frolicking through the great outdoors. We have even embraced traditional archery as a family because the 3d shoots take you through meandering trails in the forest… Heaven.
    I loved your truth that the outdoors does not have to be far away, maybe only the small patch of grass in our yard. There is something about being outside that awakens the senses.
    Loved, loved, loved this article!

  8. says

    Lovely post and, especially, pictures! I agree with you that it’s so important to help children connect with nature, and it looks like your family does such a good job of that with your children. Can’t wait to have the chance to do it myself one day soon 🙂

  9. says

    SO much fun! I love to get out in the wilderness with the kids… I truly treasure our trips abck to the farm I grew up on every other summer. Thanks for hooking up to the Hump day Hook Up

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