A great way to make a connection with nature is to find a place that your child enjoys going to, and make it their special place. It can be somewhere in your backyard or a nook at a nearby park. This shouldn’t be somewhere you only go to on vacation (although that would make a great second special place).
For your special place, find somewhere quiet. This should be somewhere you can focus on just being, instead of doing. It’s a different way of exploring. Instead of walking around, climbing hills or turning over logs, this explorer spends some time in nature being still and observing things around them.
Try sitting against a tree and notice the all the surprises nature holds when you are still. We often find that birds and squirrels will go about their business of gathering food and eating when you are still and quiet.
Every place in nature is unique. Look at all the nooks and crannies in your space. Notice the different smells and sounds around you. Try sitting or standing still and listening with your eyes closed. You’ll probably be able to hear and concentrate better this way. You can also try mimicking an animal’s ear by cupping your hands behind your ears.
Remember, you don’t have to identify everything in your special place. Just observing can bring the connection to nature that you are looking for.
If your child is old enough, try to pick a place where you feel comfortable letting them spend some time alone. You can even stay nearby but just out of sight. This will allow them to feel a close connection with the environment around them by having quiet time to think.
Some tips for spending time in your special place:
· Visit it as often as you can.
· See how things change each time you visit.
· Look for things that you missed in previous visits. Is there something new growing or blooming? Has something been moved by the wind or a critter?
· Visit at different times of the day and at different times of the year.
· Draw a picture of your special place.
· Have a picnic there.
If you have more than one child, try to separate them in the space so that they are more likely to be still for a few moments. Or you could even have a different special place for each child. The same applies if you are doing this as a group or scout activity…try to space the kids out.
If you already have a special place tell me about it in the comments section!
You might also enjoy the post Let’s Connect With Nature.
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- Hi! My name is Chris, and I'm writing this blog to share my passion...nature!
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As with any activity, please use your discretion and only do things that you deem are safe based on the age of your child and your location.