Chipper Tips: Family Nature Connections
Let’s Go Chipper! … Into the Great Outdoors
Today’s children are losing their connection with our natural world and spend over seven hours a day of “screen time.” The negative effects are lack of physical exercise and opportunities to explore creatively and exercise our critical thinking. That’s the research, but what if we just go on our gut instinct and reflect on how our days unfold?
When we pause the “research and worry” button and consider our basic desire to connect with our children and just play, we should all feel confident in just saying “yes” to taking time to join our kids on the floor, grass, or on the swing set! Adventure into the park, take a walk around the block, or get the bikes out. Nature is waiting for us.
Children in touch with their natural environment are healthier, do better in school, have increased creativity and improved concentration. Realizing these benefits and sharing adventures and experiences help broaden a child’s perspective on life which leads to a stronger emotional spirit. Even more so leading children in guided experiences, engaging in hands on activities, and exciting conversation will inspire a contributive spirit so today’s child will become a more conscientious, involved student and member of the community.
So what can we do?
• Let’s get physical – Be active, play outside, and just excite a sense of freedom to explore
• Connect with the outdoors – Provide access to safe, green spaces
• Discover the five senses – Provide activities which will engage seeing things in nature, listening to nature, touching, smelling … even tasting
• Participate – Provide opportunities for your kids to engage in the process and therefore be interested in taking care of the animals they find in nature
Most importantly for parents – don’t fear getting dirty. We say, “It’s not a good day unless you do a load of laundry.” So next time you have the urge to check your phone or text a friend when your child is close by, put it back in the bag … maybe play a little “tag” and see how letting go can make you feel connected to your child and remind you of how easy it is to build your own care free spirit.
How do you get outdoors with the kids? Share with Chipper!