How can we utilise Nature as both playground and classroom for children to learn, play and grow?
In another of our blogs, we told you how healing and good for the soul getting out in the Great outdoors is. It seems over the last year or so that people have felt more than ever like getting out and into green spaces and have been especially enjoying spending that time out in Nature with their children. This lovely submergence into Nature will build a love for our planet and an ability to appreciate it from a young age, and this will surely encourage more of the same into their adult lives.
Here are so me inspiring ideas for making perfect use of The Great Outdoors with children.
Fun Ideas to try:
Children have a natural calling to collect twigs and leaves, pebbles, and flowers. So why not have a go at using them to create bird’s nests or fairy houses. Let your imagination run wild!
Muddy Puddle Jumping:
Wrap up cosy, put on your rain mac and wellies and be carefree about making a splash! Go on; we know you want to!
Being in the woods conjures up all sorts of epic stories; why not become Robin Hood and his merry men, or Goldilocks sneaking through the trees!
Find a Trail:
Enhance imaginative play by visiting a themed trail, many of which have popped up all over the place now. There are plenty of magical Fairy/character Trails where you’ll follow enchanting paths through the woods and have fun spotting tiny wooden fairy houses, toadstools and tree doors.
Mud Pie Making:
Grab a bowl and a couple of spoons and go out and search for the yuckiest “ingredients” you can find, some mud, some leaves, some empty snail shells! Add in a slop of water and mix it all up. What have you made? Is it a pirate grog or a witch’s brew?!
Make like Bear Grylls or Peter Pan and his lost boys and have a go at making your very own forest den; with a bit of creativity, you’ll have soon made a cosy forest hideout!
An old-fashioned pastime but still one of the best! Make sure to pick a tree that’s branches are healthy, sturdy and safely low enough to the ground for your little one to reach for and then spot them from below as they explore.
And don’t forget the older kids too!
Find an adventure playground with wobble bridges, monkey bars, slides, and rope swings that will inspire great fun outside as well as great exercise.
There is something truly magical about observing the sky at night, and when out in Nature and away from bright city lights, there is hardly any light pollution. See if you can spot some constellations; I wonder what stories you can think of to tell?
Depending on your cycling skills, you can choose an easy, level trail for a leisurely peddle through some pretty scenery or pick an off-road adventurous mountain biking trail. Either way, it’s fair to say a day out on the bikes is fun for everyone, and even more so if you stop off for a picnic along the way.
Book yourselves a day at a treetop adventure where climbing way up into the trees and ziplining is incredible fun for daring kids and grownups alike!
Forest Laser Tag:
If you are feeling extra adventurous, go for a game of forest laser tag. It’s just like paintball but without the mess or pain, phew! May the best team win!
..And then slow it down and take it right back to basics
A lazy stroll:
Take a leisurely 20-minute walk with your family and absorb the natural surroundings all around you. Pay attention to all the tiny details; a ladybird on a branch, the moss growing on a gate. Take your time and feel yourself living in the moment, letting all the regular stress and rush of everyday daily life melt away.
Mindfully take this time to chat about anything and everything before heading back home with a glow and smile.