Here are our Top 10 Tips for Fostering the Joys of Nature Play in your family!
1. Say wow: Take time to acknowledge and make a WOW moment special. Get excited, be observant & inquisitive. It takes just as much time to stop & enjoy a “nature distraction” as it does to try & keep the task at hand on track.
2. Let them lead: Give your children the responsibility to create their own adventure; this will allow them to have ownership over the nature play activity. For example, let your child choose which path to take on your next bush walk.
3. Look at the world from their perspective: Get down low, the world looks so different when we remove adult imposed barriers & rigidity. Use their creativity to your advantage & allow their creative minds to see trees as castles or rocks as elephants. Minimal props allows for maximum creativity!
4. Go barefoot: Walking barefoot helps you reconnect with the earth’s energies. It provokes health and harmonises and stabilises the bodies basic biological rhythms, and neutralises inflammation. Walking barefoot allows children to learn risk assessment, for example, a mind field of bindis can become an adventure!
5. Keep it simple: What kept you entertained for hours as a child? Sometimes the simplest activities are the most fun! Build an ant cubby, make a mud pie or go on a kayaking adventure across the backyard!
6. Get to know what scares you: Discover an understanding of what scares your children through learning. For example, visit a planetarium to learn about & enjoy the night sky instead of fearing the dark.
7. Be silly: Release your inner wild child! Remind your adult self of how good it feels to play games where things are icky, sticky, squishy or tickly! Why wouldn’t you want to share this joy with your child. For example, try our Lamington Feet activity where you walk through, mud (the chocolate coating) and then sand (the coconut) to create LAMINGTON FEET!
8. Experience a place in all weather: Don’t let the weather limit you! Windy, wet, sunny or cold weather provides opportunities to experience a place in a new way, let this allow children to learn about different moods & acceptance of change.
9. Use resources: There are so many resources out there, don't feel like you need to recreate the wheel or be the most creative parent on the planet. Nature Play QLD has great Nature Play Passports available or enjoy a nature based treasure hunt with geocaching!
10. Make going outside a habit: Incorporate nature time into your everyday practice for example, brush your teeth outside or under the stars & start a tradition of saying goodnight to the stars.