Screens are all around us, and they are a commonplace distraction. Digital fatigue is affecting more and more children, and far too often we forget the miraculous and incredible natural environment in which we live.
This winter, instead of adding activity after activity to your to-do list, why don’t you slow down, embrace the simple pleasures and teach your children how to reconnect with, and appreciate, the environment around us.
Here are a few pointers on how to reignite the wonder:
Be in a Nature mindset:
Recognise that ‘nature’ is not just a word, and ‘the environment’ is not simply something we desperately need to take care of, but that it is the air we breathe, and the space we thrive in. Go outside, lie on the ground and feel the dirt. Let your bare feet touch the grass.
As the sun is setting, take your kids outside, lift your eyes upward and stare into the vast expanse. Find a place where light-pollution is minimal and count the stars together. Look for shooting stars and try to spot the constellations. Allow yourself to feel a small but significant part of this amazing universe.
This is an excellent way to relax. Watch the clouds glide, move and dance. Stimulate your imagination and create pictures in your mind. We all used to imagine jumping on puffy clouds when we were little, didn’t we? Ask your kids to find pictures in the clouds and delight your minds with these playful thoughts.
Follow the moon:
Children love the moon, but how often do we take the time to step out of our secured homes to look up at night? Learn about waxing and waning moons and teach your children about nature’s natural rhythm. By linking this with the changing tides, be reminded of the earth’s interconnectedness.
Take note of your body:
In very practical terms, teach your kids to listen to their bodies: sleep when they are tired, eat when they are hungry (not necessarily bored) and move when they feel energetic. Take the time to tune into your body. Be grateful for it and try to understand its’ intricacies.
Listen to the wind:
Take just five minutes with your family to sit peacefully in nature and play the ‘listening game’. Sit in silence and note how many sounds each of you can hear in a minute. Kids are great at this game and often hear the small things that we have learned to ‘tune out’. Allow the sounds of nature, the birds, the wind in the trees, water flowing and crashing waves to be part of your awareness. Listen out for them and enjoy them.
Bond with Nature:
Go hiking or camping, swim in the cold sea, climb a tree, go trail running, sleep under the stars or walk alongside a river. Learn about healing plants and essential oils and find ways to use them in your home and garden. Together with your kids, plant edible plants, tend to them and watch them blossom – even if it’s only a pot on your windowsill.
By following just a few of these tips, you’ll surprise yourself by how often you remember to be still and silent, appreciating everything around you.
Psssst: Keep your eyes on our Instagram page for some fun games to play with your kids – encouraging them to reconnect with nature.
Source Inspiration: Robyn Wilkinson (Holistica Magazine – www.holistica.net).