Nature bonds families and friends! Nature is something everyone can participate in it brings people of all ages together.
Nature heals! Research shows why nature is important. For example, being in nature reduces anxiety and increases sense of calmness. In a hospital setting patients involved in nature had shorter hospitalizations, less need for pain medications and fewer negative comments. (I can provide research evidence if you’d like to feature me in this article).
Nature creates a better future! By being in nature, showing our children the beauties and educating them on sustainability we can great a new generation that does not ignore and destroy the nature around us.
Just messing in mother nature, going barefoot and breathing in fresh air are habits we need to start teaching our children. Children spend so much time in door these days that they are forgetting how to play, discover and be bored. We are surrounded by free, healthy foods in our forests and possibly backyards etc the art of wildcrafting botanicals has been lost. Why not learn as a family how to take advantage of the wild edibles.
Some of the wild foods around Ontario are:
- Wild leeks, Fiddleheads, Dandelion, Wild Asparagus, Wild Ginger, Wild Mint
- Fruits; Crab Apples, Blackberries, Mulberries, Raspberries, Elderberries
Mushrooms: seek professional guidance as some safe varieties are easily confused with the similarly appearing poisonous species.
- Medicinals: Plantain leaf, Nettles, Joe Pye Weed, Burdock
Check out your local library or an online resource to help source out the plants. Involve the entire family in seasonal harvesting for items that can be found in your area. Always be safe rather then sorry and never eat anything you cannot properly identify.
Gardening life skills show how caring for something living and watching it grow from seeds can be rewarding for children. This is an opportunity to provide your family with local and the most freshest food possible. It also exposes your family to important soil microbes that are found locally in your unique environment. Plants that will easily start from seed indoors include; peas, beans, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots.
As kids grow they can take on more responsibilities such as watering, compost, pulling weeds, raking and using the lawn mower. The more your children grow the more you can pass along information such as natural pest control, fertilizing, watering times, seed starting, plant protection, and harvesting times.
Relaxing & Nature:
In a world where “busyness” is valued more than presence, children are loosing the ability to relax and unplug. Children need to be bored as boredom fosters creativity and complex thought. Children should be encouraged to fantasize, day dream and sit with their thoughts and emotions. I relax with my children because it makes them feel calm and it gives them my undivided attention.
In order for children to grow they need input and feedback from their environments. We are doing them a disservice but not allowing them to experience the natural beauty of our world. When children are encouraged to relax in a natural setting they are more in and aware of their environment.
All the best,