5 easy ways to get kids to love nature
Kids are growing up without experiencing nature the way so many of us did as kids. Why is it so important for kids to get outside to play in the dirt and climb trees?
Study after study has shown that time in nature leads to:
* Less stress
* Increases in memory span and a better mood
* Better productivity
* Up to a 50 percent increase in creativity
* Longer, deeper sleep
Kids that sleep longer, are in better moods and might actually remember their backpacks? Sign us up.
But with so many families living in urban areas, how do you get kids to put down the tablet, step away from the video game and unplug the headphones?
1. Look for shapes in the clouds
Find a peaceful piece of green space and have everyone lie on their backs. Look up and use your imagination to find shapes, faces, animals … whatever in the clouds.
2. Bug hunt
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Gather up a magnifying glass, clipboard, marker, paper and a jar. Collect, record and count up your discoveries. Just remember to release your insect friends back into the wild when the hunt is over.
3. Jump in puddles
Rainy days don’t have to mean kids are stuck inside. Puddle jumping is not only lots of fun, it induces high levels of endorphins which are the body’s source of joy.
4. Count tree rings
Find a tree that has been cut down and count the rings to find out how old a tree really is. Each ring represents one year in the life of the tree.
5. Scavenger hunt
Head to a green space (anywhere from a nearby park to a faraway forest) and make a list of items for kids to find. Specific leaves, flowers and animal tracks are great places to start. Little scavengers stay engaged until every item is checked off the list.
And don’t forget to bring fuel for your outdoor journey. Nature Valley granola bars have always gone hand in hand with exploring the outdoors.
In fact, Nature Valley Canada recently organized a surprise field trip for the kids at the Boys and Girls Club of West Scarborough because the children live in a very dense, urban area of the city and don’t have the opportunity to experience nature.
Take a peek at the kids’ journey through the woods and you’ll find yourself inspired to rediscover the joys of nature.
For more fun ideas and even a park finder, check out NatureValley.ca.