Children and Nature

by Josée

I am surprised by how much a warm sunny day can lift my mood. Our daily rhythm seems to flow more smoothly and even the little ones are more at ease. Part of the reason could because we spend more time outdoors when the weather is nice.

There are many benefits to being outdoors, especially for little ones. There are books (Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle) and blogs ( and dedicated to this topic.

The Children & Nature Network is also trying to build a movement to reconnect children and nature. The website has lots of interesting information and resources.

One idea I liked was starting a parent and child nature club. We are surrounded by nature here in the North but as a mother of two (soon to be three) taking the little ones into nature can be daunting. Ideally, I’d like to spend at least half-an-hour outdoors with my little ones each day, no matter the weather… rain, snow, hail or shine. Of course, we’re far from that goal these days. I blame the recent spell of freezing temperatures, the illnesses running through our home and the increasing largeness of my belly. Putting those things aside, I think that a group of nature exploring parents and children would help me out of my comfort zone of our yard-nearby park and into the vast forests that surround us.

What are your thoughts? Would you consider starting a Nature Club for Families

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Ms. T February 2, 2012 - 3:41 pm

There is a young naturalists club here in town-but they are geared for kids 6-7yrs and up. A nature club for littles is an interesting idea…..what would it look like do you think?

Cristina February 2, 2012 - 8:52 pm

While not exactly a club, my dh and i have taken to sending out a mass email to friends and family about our next planned walk, hike or geo-cache. Whoever shows up, comes with. We've picked up our younger cousins when their mom is not able to get out of the house. Sometimes it's just us, but we've had as many as twelve people out, including kids. Usually no more that 2 hrs, although we try to find out the average time a particular walk should take, and allow an extra 1/2 hr for dawdlers… oh! I mean toddlers.

Josée February 2, 2012 - 10:40 pm

Good question Mrs. T 🙂 I would have to give it more thought, but off the top of head I think it would be nice to have something targeted towards preschoolers (3-5) that happened once or twice a month on a weekday morning or early afternoon. This way it doesn't take away from weekend family activities and can happen while older siblings are in school. Of course, parents could bring both their younger children or older children (if they are home schooled) but the focus of the activities would be for preschoolers. I'm thinking of starting close to the city but walking easy trails or visiting lakes and rivers. Starting small and seeing what kind of interest and stamina the little ones and parents have. Do you have any thoughts? What do the young naturalists club here in town do?


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