We are all feeling the pull to nature more than ever during these uncertain times of quarantines and social distancing.
Not only do we need the outdoors for our mental health but it’s been proven to be good for our physical health as well. Visit Wilderness Defined for 12 scientific benefits of being outside.
Here are some tips to help encourage you and your kids to get outside and reap the all of the benefits of being in nature each day:
1 – Create a nature scavenger hunt.
Make your own hunt complete with leaves, flowers, rocks, sticks, certain colors, and certain textures. Use every day items that you can find in your own yard.
2 – Create a nature journal.
Challenge your child to write poems or short stories about the things they see in nature. If they see two squirrels chasing each other, encourage your child to write about what’s going on between them.
3 – Do yoga in the grass.
Bring a towel or blanket outside and do a yoga routine of stretches, balance movements and mindful relaxation poses all among nature!
4 – Go on a nature photography exploration.
Take a walk around your neighborhood with a camera and have your child take pictures of things they find beautiful or unique. Print out the best pictures and create a nature photo album.
5 – Make an obstacle course with items in your yard.
Create physical challenges using sticks, leaves, flowers, and rocks as trails and markers for certain obstacles. Time each other to see if the kids can beat their personal best.
6 – Have a campout!
You can either spend the whole night outside or you can just stay up late and wait for the stars to come out. Set up a tent or a blanket fort with pillows and toy friends.
7 – Learn to garden.
Study the best perennials or foods to plant and learn the skill of gardening. Keep a log of the weekly plant progress and see the magic of nature grow!
8 – Write thank you notes to nature advocates.
Pick your favorite national park, conservation zoo, or local nature center and let them know how grateful you are they are helping others appreciate our natural world, and do this outside!
9 – Have a picnic.
The simple act of having a meal outside can help us feel more connected to nature. Fill a bag or basket with your entire meal and set up a blanket in an outdoor space. Don’t forget yard games during your picnic!
10 – Bird watching!
How many different birds can you spot as you walk around your yard. You may be surprised how many different kinds are flying around us that we never even notice.
What other activities are you taking outside to help your family get more fresh air and nature exposure during these challenging times?