15 Summer Activities to Help your Kids Appreciate Nature

What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you’re lucky the ocean.

As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you’ve not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it’s up to you as parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it’s on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature.

This is what it looks like:

15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there’s plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

Hope that works!

Bio:

An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure.
Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – M. Gandhi

California Love

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The Grove  =)

My friend Lesley and her husband moved to California this week. Lesley was one the first friends I made while living in Virginia, we were both new to the area and found ourselves on many adventures, most involved us getting lost…hahaha. I’m really excited for their new venture in Los Angeles. Lesley is a make-up artist and a beauty vlogger. She’s amazing at what she does and also, did my make-up for the wedding. You can check out her work at: http://lesleydoesmakeup.com . I’m sure you’ll see many linked posts in the future, now that she is just an hour away =)

Parenting

I can’t say I thought parenting would be easy. During my last semester of college I took a parenting class as an elective. By book, there are so many different options and choices. Of course when it’s just a multiple-choice question the answers seem so easy but it’s different when you actually have a baby. The thought of raising a child by a textbook seems like a silly idea, more or less a harder idea. When I looked into my son’s eyes for the first time,  we connected. I knew we would understand each other and being his parent was made for me. Everyday needs room for learning and experimenting for both my son and I. When I say “room,” I mean acceptance. Once I was able to accept that parenting was going to be an ongoing research project between my son and I, it really opened my mind and the playing field.

One of the first conversations I had with my son was when he was only a few days old. Both frustrated with little sleep, my milk wasn’t producing enough yet and my son was still getting use to life outside of my belly. With hours, weeks, months, and years we would spend together, it’s never too early to start talking with my child. I told him “I know we are both frustrated and upset, this experience is new for both of us. But we need to work together and we both can be a team.” His response was less then reassuring, he cried at me and then launched onto my boob. Four months later I can’t help but think he listened, I even listened to myself that day because we have become a team and our experiences together are new and exciting.

I never will say I’m the best parent or the most creative parent but I’m an open-minded parent, I have patience and that has gone a long way. Before I was a parent I strived on “non-expectations.” I try to do the same with my son to an extent. I do follow his milestones and watch for personal growth and development. It’s important I know he’s striving in the right direction. Our time together involves daily routines from playtime with activity sets, to exploring on a walk, story time throughout the day with books, and quality time with the pups. Watching him grow is exciting and knowing I’m able to provide the necessaties for him to learn inspires me to be a better parent each day. I can’t say I thought parenting would be easy but I never knew it could be so much fun=)