Thursday, June 24, 2021

Take Your Kids On Nature Walks


Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Do you want your kids to grow up to be happy, healthy adults? Sure you do. So, take them on nature walks. Little rambles in the woods, in the garden, or even around the neighborhood will go a long way toward helping them get on the right track to wellness.

Nature walks 

  • Build relationships
  • Teach children about the natural world
  • Stimulate inquisitiveness
  • Promote physical fitness

Here’s how it works.

Building relationships

In today’s world, most of us are way too caught up in our own interests. Most of them are perfectly legitimate and necessary, but we too often become wrapped up in our pursuits and lose touch with others – especially our children. Reflective strolls with little ones – the more the merrier – help to bind our hearts together. Quiet rambles give us time to talk and share. Walk hand-in-hand with your kids while they’ll still let you. 

Teaching children about the natural world

The world is full of delights and dangers. Children need to know how to enjoy the world, and how to avoid harm. The reflection of a buttercup on the chin, the softness of a lamb’s ear leaf, the caress of a soft breeze, the fragrance of flowers, the aroma of crushed herbs, the textures of tree bark, the songs of birds, the scampering of squirrels, the burrowing of earthworms, and the trepidation of deer are among the fascinations. On the other hand, there are those important warnings – stay away from the edge, “leaves of three, let them be”, be careful stepping over fallen logs – that must be heeded. Better to teach them ourselves than to let them learn alone unsupervised.

Stimulating inquisitiveness

Why are things as they are? What makes that work? What might happen if…? How many more are there? These are the kinds of questions that children should be learning to ask in their formative years. We adults might think that kids, in their naivete, aren’t paying attention or that they won’t remember. Ah! But they are like little sponges, watching and listening. I’m constantly amazed at the little details of times past that my adult children recall. 

Promoting physical fitness

It should go without saying that walking, running, climbing, hopping, kneeling and stooping strengthen the body and mind. Even children with limited talents and physical abilities can participate at some level. Most can, at least. Will they be active or sedentary? The behavior that they adopt today will stick with them for the rest of their lives – for better or for worse.

Toward the end of our lives, we adults won’t wish we’d spent more time at work or watching TV. They won’t wish they’d played more video games. We’ll all remember precious times we spent together on nature walks outdoors.

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