TGSG Note: I am tickled to have Vanessa Brown guest blog for us today at TGSG. This busy mom recognizes and values the role of nature in raising healthy, happy kids. Enjoy. See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru
We have a rule in my home that every single day we have to spend time in nature. In the Spring we tend to spend most of our day outside but sometimes in the Winter all we can do it run outside really fast to catch a snowflake. When we have crazy days and break our rule I notice a HUGE difference in my children’s behavior. Everything from their stress level, sleeping habits and their ability to listen to Mom and Dad!
In my home we are big on living a healthy lifestyle, we put a lot of thought into what foods we eat, what cleaning supplies we use, etc. However, just as important is our daily goal to make the time to spend time in nature. With how fast paced and high stress children’s lives are getting at younger and younger ages, they thrive off time to just “be” out in nature. Having your children spend a good amount of time in nature will help them to be physically healthy also.
Recent studies show that children are smarter, more cooperative, happier and healthier when they have frequent opportunities for free and unstructured play in nature. It gives them the chance to explore, dream, pretend, experiment and come to their own conclusions all at their own pace. One of the most magical things about being a parent is to see their creativity grow and I really believe that spending time in nature helps to develop their creativity. Having “unstructured play-time” in nature has helped my babies develop their motor skills, my lovable but a little high strung daughter relieve stress, and has helped all of my children’s sleep habits.
When I need to calm down, take a breath or need to get out of a “funk” I find myself thinking of times spent in nature as a child. These events included exploring the woods behind our home in Maryland, walking along the Chesapeake Bay, exploring the tide pools in Maine, hiking the mountains in Utah and impromptu excursions on the side of the road to play in fields of wildflowers. I hope I can teach my children the strength they can take from nature. To allow them to be able to have their own memories involving the outdoors and learn how beautiful everything around them really is.
Guest Blogger Bio: Vanessa Brown is a busy and enthusiastic mom of two. She is owner of I Never Grew Up, a website for parents, and Co-editor of Blissful Kids. She lives in Utah with her family, including two dogs, and can be found daily playing outdoors.