As we spent the past year and a half problem-solving creatively during the pandemic, we turned to our own backyards as a source of that same sort of life and connection we all so willingly seek. It was a time for children, parents, grandparents, and families to rediscover and reconnect with the space and beauty around them.
Reinforcing a child’s sense of adventure and free range exploration of mother nature is wonderful, but the benefits are really for the whole family! And bringing this connection will also help our little ones learn from a young age to protect and sustain this beautiful world.
There are major health benefits as a result of spending more time outside - which is more critical than ever with our indoor workplaces and busy lifestyles -
- Strengthened Immunity
- Less depression
- Less hyperactivity
- Stronger bones
- Better sleep
- A longer life span
Great! So what can we do outside as a family?
Here’s a list of activities to increase time outdoors together :)
- Focus on moving indoor activities outdoors. Arts and crafts, gardening, watering flowers, snack time, mealtime, even preparing food outdoors encourages a little fresh air.
- Steadily introduce a number of eco-friendly habits. Choose a bike or walk over driving short distances, even incorporate more carpooling to conserve fuel.
- Organize some playdates with friends. There’s nothing that sparks outdoor exploration like having a playdate.
- Have a picnic dinner at the park or a playground near your house.
- Create a Pinterest board full of outdoor ideas, get the kids motivated and keep a list of activities for a rainy day or even a sunny one.
- Encourage the mess! Take a deep breath, and let yourself and little ones get a little dirty and feel the earth :)
- Start a garden or plant some vegetables. It’s a really rewarding thing to be able to plant your own food, and it’s exciting for kids to be able to go and pick themselves some fresh veggies. Start simple - try planting grape tomatoes in your backyard.
- Build a fort, but this time outside! Use a sheet or blanket to build a clubhouse or kid’s spot in your yard. Invite friends or neighbors to join and remember you can also use items from nature to improve your fort.
- Think about a treehouse. This is a classic family activity, whether you want to get creative and build one yourself or just put together a spot in your yard for the kids to hang out, it’s a great way to personalize your outdoor experience.
- Explore your community to keep in touch with the outdoors. Find your favorite spots and visit parks all around your neighborhood.
Cheers to sunshine and dirt,
Mary Grace and the DARITY Team