Being ‘urban’ has it’s benefits, and yet one of the big drawbacks can mean that you and the kids spend more time in stores, watching screens or commuting than breathing fresh air without a care in the world. The family and I participated in ‘Take Me Outside’ on September 20th, where we were asked to spend an hour outdoors together.
Usually I’m not preachy, but watching this video of three generations talking about summer ‘fun’ filmed by Nature Valley jarred me to my roots. Our relationship to nature is changing and with technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to forget about what’s important, like being outside and enjoying nature. With each passing generation, children seem to be playing outside less and less.
What if our connection to nature is lost for good? I want my grandchildren to develop skills and knowledge that can be acquired only in nature. Learning to fish, to camp, swim, built forts and plant seeds are part of childhood – play is necessary for development. Not only are motor skills developed, but creativity, reasoning, logic and life skills are honed. Can you imagine having no access to food other than fish, but the only time you’ve held a rod was during a fishing video game? So let’s make a pact to get the kids outside this summer, K?
The time is now to rediscover the joy of nature.
The kids and I have completed our ‘Summer Bucket List’ and pasted it to the fridge, where we can check off the items as we complete them. I’m giddy. Too often the summer slips away from us and I regret not having slept in a tent or taking the kayak out. This will be the best summer ever.
I challenge you to complete your own Bucket List (click to get your own printable)! I’d also love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Happy summer!
Summer is a perfect time to facilitate learning through entertainment. Remember being a kid and looking in the encyclopedia when you found a mushroom or learned a bit about physics when your fishing rod broke? Let’s get outside this summer and see what nature will teach us!
15 Summer Activities in Nature
1. Go for a hike! It’s a great way to get some exercise and discover new species at the same time.
2. Build forts made of driftwood on the beach. The kids can learn about structures while having fun scouring the beach for the much needed piece of wood for the roof.
3. Go camping! Whether it be at a site or just the backyard, camping is a great way to get outside and learn about your surroundings.
4. Do some gardening! Get the kids involved and give them a small patch in the backyard to create their own mini garden. They can learn what different species need to survive and have fun choosing the plants for their garden at the same time.
5. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt! Make a list of things to find, whether it be a pinecone, something yellow, or a leaf the size of your hand and get scavenging!
6. Go geocaching! Teach the kids some navigation skills as they hunt for treasure. You never know, there may be treasure waiting for you right around the corner!
7. Go for a family bike ride. On a trail or through the neighbourhood, biking is a great way to be active in nature.
8. Go berry picking! Everyone can do it and afterwards the family can learn how to make a delicious treat incorporating the berries.
9. Fly a kite! You can get crafty and make your own or you can by one at the store. Either way, kite flying is a great family activity.
10. Have a neighbourhood game of soccer! Get the whole neighbourhood involved and play this simple yet fun game in your front yard or the park. You will be teaching the kids about teamwork in a way that just seems like fun and games.
11. Decorate the sidewalk with chalk! The kids can unleash their creativity while enjoying the great outdoors.
12. Take out your camera and go outside for some outdoor photography. Get some shots of your favorite plants and animals to use in a scrapbook!
13. Scavenge the beach for shells and sea glass to use in an art project of the kid’s choosing. Their creativity will not be lost over the summer with projects like these.
14. Go kayaking or stand up paddle boarding! Get outside and breath in the ocean air! Perseverance is taught (especially if it’s your first time) and the health benefits are endless!
15. Set up the sprinkler on those particularly hot summer day’s and watch the endless hours of enjoyment begin.