Springtime is officially here!
Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and the grass gets greener after every rain! It’s time to open the windows and get your kiddos outside. It can be really easy to just send them outside to fend for themselves while you stay inside to get some things done, but where is the fun in that? I want to encourage you to cut out some time and go on a nature walk with your kiddos. Create time to go on an adventure with your kids and get some
fresh air and a change of scenery. There are so many benefits from being outside and spending quality time with your kiddos as a family.
How can a Nature Walk Help?
A nature walk can be done anywhere outside. You can go to a park, find a trail, or just walk around your neighborhood. Being in nature and slowing down to observe and breathe can have many benefits for us. Nature walks can help reduce stress and increase relaxation, increase attention span, decrease worries and anxiety, reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk for depression. It is also exercise, so it can increase strength and flexibility. After the long winter we had, it can be incredibly beneficial to get out of the house and just walk. Many people, adults, and children alike, experience seasonal depression during the winter months. Taking these fresh, new spring days and spending time outside can help decrease seasonal depression symptoms.
Nature Walk Activities
When going on nature walks with younger kiddos, having activities can add to the excitement and to their awareness of the world around them. You can create a scavenger hunt for different things they may see while on your nature walk. You can create it before you go, or you can do it on a whim while walking. Another activity you can do is play I Spy to describe the things around you on your walk. You can collect different things to bring home for art projects. Some examples are, rocks for painting, sticks, and pinecones for building, or a variety of things for a nature box that they can study and observe once they get home (like looking at the details of a leaf or flower).
When taking older kids and teens on nature walks, they may not be interested in doing any of those activities. They may want to just walk or listen to music and that is totally okay, getting them outside is the key and can still have many benefits. If you are on a nature walk near the water, they could skip rocks on the water or have a throwing contest of who can get the rocks or stick farther out in the water. Just having time outside and getting some fresh air can be helpful for them no matter what they do. So, get your kiddos outside and have an adventure!