I can't quite work out if my kids are extremely lucky with the number of adventures and outdoor experiences they have or whether I just didn't appreciate it as much before. Perhaps it's because they're getting older and at 7 and 9 years old respectively, they've now got more independence. We've recently found a local swimming spot where they can jump in safely and the river current drags them back into the shallows. They spent hours in there splashing about and I can see many more similar walks coming this summer. We're very luck to have a river running along the back of our house and the walk really is stunning, plus there are lots of spots for paddling.
Mini-me had homework for their outdoor learning curriculum week: "Take a moment in nature to use all of your senses and then describe in writing to someone who wasn't there". She did a lovely job and I felt it was a perfect example of the way nature can be used to elicit learning and motivate children to read and write. However, even more striking to me was the power for children to just take that moment of silence, of stillness, of mindfulness without distraction and just notice what is around them. I've been encouraging mindfulness during 'tricky times' for a while, but using nature and listening is more meaningful for children and gives them something to focus on. In fact, not just for children for all of us. Let's all do it. Take a moment in nature to stop, feel and notice at least once a day. Let me know what you notice.