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! I want to invest in some new outdoor garden furniture so that they can spend more time in the garden, simply doing whatever they would usually do indoors, like colouring or reading. Then at least they’re getting some fresh air and appreciating more natural surroundings. 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?