Over the weekend, I took Little Man and Cricket for a walk on the wild side.
We have a reservation close to our house where we can go hiking and just ‘be’ with nature. Living in a busy, urban area it is so important to get outside and connect with nature.
Being in nature allows children to learn in a different way. They experience and see things they don’t get to everyday. It can allow for interesting questions and funny insights — opening up a new dialog about the world around us. Being in nature can provide you with teaching moments as well — opportunities to put their classroom knowledge into practice.
My kids get outside everyday, unless there is a polar vortex or a hurricane. We play in the backyard, jump in puddles, visit playgrounds, and play outdoor sports. But that doesn’t replace nature.
I grew up spending all my time outside. Although we lived in the suburbs, we had property with lots of trees, rocks and even a creek in the back. We found tiny tadpoles, chased snakes, built forts and once walked so far down the creek we had to stop and ask someone for a phone to call home.
I want my children to have those kinds of adventures. Although we no longer live in a society where kids run free and frankly, the area I live in is a bit crowded for those types of adventures, I do want my kids to know nature.
Our latest adventure, was fairy hunting. At nearly four, Cricket is the perfect age. We set off with our backpacks full snacks and water — can’t leave home without a good snack! — and our trusty trail map. I put Little Man in charge of the map and he was so excited.
We talked about trail markers and how they work to help you find your way. Pretty soon they were both racing from one trail marker to the next — pointing them out so we wouldn’t get lost. We stopped to look at the map pointing out the streams and ponds we past and so we could see where we were on the map.
We picked up leaves, pinecones and other treasures. We looked at our reflections in the water. We listened to the stream — Little Man pointed out that he could hear it before he could see it!
We may not have seen the little fairies, but we did see a lot of different bugs! We had a great time. My kids were inspired and we all got a little exercise.
There was recently a great article in the Washington Post that I hope you read!
I encourage you to get out there and enjoy nature and I hope you’ll share your nature activity ideas with me!
Read more about our Unfat and Healthy Journeys: