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As schools let out for summer here in the US, parents may be wondering how to encourage less screen time and more green time. This article has some great tips on how to encourage Nature connection with kids and the benefits of it. Oh, and by the way, these are great tips for the entire family – not just the kiddos!
A few examples:
- “Don’t wait around for the perfect trip to the Great Outdoors. Find opportunities for everyday nature encounters, however humble.” YES! Nature is everywhere. It can be as easy as cloud gazing. Or mud pies!
- “Participate in citizen science!” I had no idea this was a thing 🤯 Seems that National Geographic has a list of real-life science projects that families can volunteer to help with!
I also like how they point out in the article that connecting with nature doesn’t always have to mean you’re going outside. You can still benefit from nature connection by watching from a window. Or, while this is technically screen time, enjoying a nature program on TV. There are tons on YouTube, Netflix, etc… My personal fave? Our Planet on Netflix.
Two other indoor ideas I’ve used in the past:
- Bring nature indoors. Gather leaves, sticks, stones, etc…and explore their textures, smells, look, etc…Have your kids trace or draw them and then color them in if they want.
- Do an indoor scavenger hunt. Have your kids look for items from nature in the house. Give them a number of items to collect (say 5 or 10) and then after they collect them, take some time to explore them in more detail. Notice their colors, shapes, textures, smells and if they make any noises. Examples of things they may find in the house are fruit, veggies, cork, plants, wood, cotton, flowers…
Check out the article for more ideas.