Whether it's three months, six months, a week or even a few days, time in nature can heal and help transform negative thinking into a whole lot of positivity! It can help a child move through something which seemed so desperately important in that moment, and brings to mind one of my favourite quotes - "This too shall pass!".
As humans, we all spend too much time thinking about 'stuff' and dwelling on things that have little importance in our every day moments. When we look at creating holistic harmony with young children, time really can be our friend. We've heard people say 'a child's early years move by so quickly', yet here we are rushing them through one year to the next and the next, rarely pausing to consider how far they've come.
Time In Nature
In the images above and below, is O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk. If you haven't visited this beautiful location, it really is a must! The drive is a little hairy in some points, yet just take your time and trust you will make it safe and sound. This tree top walk is 180 metres in length and is made up of nine suspension bridges, with much of the walkway being 15 metres above the ground. The walks along the suspension bridges are an easy and safe way to get in touch with the natural surrounds.
Time To Face Fears
The tree top ladder however, which takes you to the very top of a Strangler Fig around 110 feet above the ground takes a little courage. So when my five year old wanted to climb it, of course I said yes! As I followed closely behind the reality set in. Even though there are cages around the top of the ladder, there was NOTHING at all to break his fall beneath the ladder. Those rungs are great for an adult's body, yet for a little one, he could have easily fallen right through them. So I chanted, 'hold on tight', 'two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times', 'wow this is great isn't it?', and repeat. Going back down was scarier than going up. The concept that he could fall and I couldn't catch him was a big one, yet such is life!
What a little time can do is magic.
Time Can Change Everything
This is a child that would rarely try something like that without being strapped in and analysing the safety protocol first. A child who has NEVER even wanted to do anything like that before. Even starting school was a petrifying thought all the way up to September last year. Yet with a little time just like that, here he was, confident, challenging himself, loving every second and even better, gleaming from ear to ear with pride, knowing in that moment he did it! Sometimes that's all we need, a little time. Time to think it through, time to allow our skills to match our mind, and time to do it in our own time! We have all been hearing about the benefits of allowing children to engage in real life nature based experiences that pose an element of risk. And this was one of those moments. The value of this experience far outweighed the fear we can feel as grown-ups.
Children are aware of their capabilities as well as being capable of self regulating their own level of risk, which is why we can choose to view the children in our care as strong, resourceful, willing, and amazingly able beings. Let them surprise us! Let them try! Most importantly, let them have the opportunities to be proud of themselves!
Natura Education is a family-owned business that has a passion for increasing childrens awareness of their surrounding natural environment. We delight in teaching children of all ages about the wonders of our natural world, and the importance of us all acting to help conserve it. These ideas and concepts are delivered to children in a hands-on, fun and interactive way that actively uses the outdoors as a classroom.