Kids Enjoying Nature
Kids and nature. The two just seem to go hand-in-hand. Nature is fun; nature is educational; nature is healthy. Let’s discuss briefly the benefits of kids enjoying nature.
*Nature is fun.
In summer, take a hike in the woods or the mountains, play in your city park, take your dog for a walk, play tug-of-war with neighbor kids in your backyard, have a garden hose water fight in the backyard, swing on a swing set or front porch swing, and dance in the rain.
In winter, make a snowman, build a snow fort, go snow skiing or sledding, go ice skating, and go Christmas caroling by a walking route.
*Nature is educational.
Bring a foliage book with you while hiking in the woods or mountains; try to identify all the forms of foliage that you see on your hike. Talk about the cycle of life: observe signs of new life in spring (i.e., babies of various species that you observe on your hike), maturing life (i.e., the maturation of spring babies as you approach autumn), and repurposing life (i.e., autumn leaves that turn beautiful colors, fall to the ground, and prepare the soil for next spring’s growth).
When dancing in the rain, take a moment to observe how birds take baths in the rain, discuss why worms rise up out of the soil to journey across the sidewalk, and study how plants respond to hard and soft rainfall.
*Nature is healthy.
Getting involved in nature typically involves physical activity (hiking, walking, dancing, etc.). From increasing physical fitness to improving cardiovascular health, physical activity has many health benefits for kids.
Getting involved in nature typically involves breathing fresh air and getting a little sun (note: while there are benefits to sun exposure, there are also risks, thus it is important to wear sunscreen to protect from harmful UV rays when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time or during high risk exposure times such as 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.).
In sum, nature has much to offer kids. Kids can and should enjoy nature regularly and with appropriate parental supervision.
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