Connecting with the Natural World | Day 29 – 30 Days to Transform Your Play

Connecting with the Natural World {An Everyday Story}Day 29 | 30 Days to Transform Your Play

In every grain of sand there is a story of the earth ~ Rachel Carson

Bushwalking {An Everyday Story}We have left the best until last. I think I can say with great certainty that today’s topic has had the most profound impact on how I view play. Today we are talking about connecting with the natural world.

When Jack was born we lived in tropical North Queensland. The weather was glorious pretty much all year round. We were surrounded by rainforest and coral reef. Our neighbourhood parks were always lush green; the weather beckoned you to be outside.

I remember taking Jack for a walk one morning and I was struck by a strange feeling of emptiness; our neighbourhood was bursting with children, we would see them all walk to and from school each day, but outside of that our streets and parks were empty. Where were all the children? 

An Emu Egg (An Everyday Story)Exploring the Natural World (An Everyday Story)Being a new mum, I didn’t realise at the time that this was an ongoing discussion amongst parents, parenting professionals and child psychologists; this concern that our increasingly wired-in lives was having a very profound effect on how our children connected with the natural world.

Like most of you I am sure, while I watched morning cartoons, I also spent huge chunks of times playing around our neighbourhood, riding my bike, making cubbies in the long grass on the empty house block behind ours and playing in old abandoned buildings.

But somewhere along the way things changed; kids moved inside. We have TV channels now with a target audience of young toddlers and up which run cartoons all day, we have tablets for kids (and shockingly, for babies!), we have hand-held gaming consoles. Families are increasingly bombarded with new ways to plug in our kids. Our children’s time is sucked away.

Observing a Praying Mantis {An Everyday Story} Observing Praying Mantis 2 {An Everyday Story}

Let’s get our kids outside more! Get them out in the garden, out in the yard. Shoes off, toes in the grass, hands in the mud.

Connecting with Nature

Rachel Carson Quote - Rediscovering Nature (An Everyday Story)

Task:

  • Green 30 – Everyday. At least 30 minutes outside connecting with nature
    • build a kitchen garden
    • take a nature walk
    • search for insects in the yard
    • weed a garden
    • plant some flowers
    • make a herb garden
    • make a window sill garden outside your child’s window
    • build a stick fort… at least 30 minutes everyday…more if you can!
  • Find a balance of screen time which you are happy with – take steps to reduce that time to an amount you are comfortable with
  • Once a month take a trip out of town and into nature

How are you building a connection with nature? Come and share on Facebook or on Instagram using #30daystyp

If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the series.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s posts on Racheous – Lovable Learning

 

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8 Comment

  1. Love this Kate! 🙂 Such an important message and it’s something that comes so naturally to children once we get them out there! I sat and observed my girls today as they dug in the garden, pulled weeds, threw slugs to the ‘cheeky birds’, played in our dry river bed, climbed over the big rocks and logs in our yard and I could go on… 🙂 So much opportunity for learning and FUN outside! 🙂 x

  2. Welcome to Mommyhood says:

    Love it! We are in the process of moving to the countryside (which doesn’t really count because I live in the Netherlands, and everything is still a five minute drive away), but one of the main reasons for the move was access to a yard and being able to let our toddler/future children play outdoors more. I don’t know how it was here before, but it does seem like kids still spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in comparison to the US (where my family lives). People also use bicycles as pretty much the main form of transportation, which I find to be a nice way to get outside more even with a busy schedule.

  3. Will definitely be bookmarking this post and coming back to it again. Great post! I definitely need to be more intentional about spending more time outside. As the weather cools down I’ve been finding this easier. Now you have given me a great list of prompts. Thanks!

  4. Ha! I was lying in bed this morning thinking, ‘the only thing she hasn’t done in this series is nature . . .’ and here it is! My tip is to always bring a bucket (like one for the sand pit) when you go on walks, it really encourages collecting items to play with later, from rocks to leaves to seed pods.

  5. Here in Finland kids play outside a lot. We live in the capital, and here this 30 minutes a day would be less than average time out – even in winter. But I have to admit we don’t really spend all the hours outside connecting with nature. We rather just spend time in play grounds. So this was a great reminder for me to choose more natural areas to spend time in too!

  6. Nature exploration is what we do best and what my children love by far the most:). I am a biologist, so it also comes very natural to me. Pond dipping, tree climbing, catching bugs, growing pond snails, caterpillars,…

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