Now that it’s getting warmer out, the wildlife is peeking from it’s winter slumber and plants are starting to poke through the rich soil, it’s time to get back outside!
In today's digital age, young children often find themselves glued to screens for hours on end. However, it's important for children to stay active and engaged in outdoor activities. Outdoor games and activities not only provide a fun way to exercise, but also offer numerous health benefits such as improved physical and mental health, socialization, and increased creativity.
Nature walks are a great way to get children outside and exploring the world around them. Taking a leisurely walk through a park, nature trail, or local forest can be both calming and educational for young children. Encourage them to look for different kinds of trees, plants, and animals, and talk to them about the importance of conservation and environmental protection.
The National Wildlife Federation provides a native plant finder tool on their website that allows you to search for native trees, shrubs, and plants by state: https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/
This tool allows you to enter your zip code or state and provides a list of native plants that are well-suited for your area. It also includes information about the plant's growth habits, sun and soil requirements, and the types of wildlife that the plant supports.
Here are some of the benefits of nature walks for the entire family
- Exercise: Nature walks provide a low-impact form of exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking through parks, trails, or forests can help strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and burn calories.
- Stress relief: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, helping to reduce tension and promote relaxation.
- Improved mood: Nature walks can also improve mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature can have a positive effect on mental health and can help to reduce symptoms of depression.
- Bonding: Nature walks provide an opportunity for families to bond and spend quality time together. Walking and talking in a natural environment can help to strengthen family relationships and create lasting memories.
- Education: Nature walks also provide a chance for families to learn about the natural world and the importance of environmental conservation. Parents can teach children about different plants, animals, and ecosystems, and instill a love and respect for nature.
- Creativity: Nature walks can also stimulate creativity and imagination. The beauty and diversity of the natural world can inspire children to draw, write, or engage in other forms of creative expression.
- Healthy habits: Finally, nature walks can help families establish healthy habits and encourage an active lifestyle. Regular nature walks can help children develop a lifelong love for the outdoors and a desire to stay physically active.
In summary, nature walks offer numerous benefits for the entire family, including exercise, stress relief, improved mood, bonding, education, creativity, and healthy habits. By spending time in nature together, families can enjoy the beauty of the natural world while also improving their physical and mental health.