We are moving. As a military spouse, I’ve learned that moving can be traumatic for my kids as they experience loss. This move is just a five minute jaunt, so we aren’t losing friends, but they will all still experience loss on some level.
One of the things that deeply concerned me when I first learned that we would be moving was the potential loss of access to woods. Right now, our home backs up to a nature preserve with a creek, overgrown trails, wild life, and a ravine. We even stumbled upon a tree swing over the creek one summer day and that has become a favorite afternoon destination. I love to head out on a nature walk with my kids as often as I’m able.
My boys love heading out into the woods to play with the neighbor kids, building a fort together, or talking one of us moms into taking them down to the ravine to hunt for rocks or gather bamboo from the random patch in the middle of the woods. We love to get out in nature and as a mom I recognize the many benefits getting outside in the woods has for my kids. That’s why I’m thrilled we have found a new home with access to woods and trails and creeks and waterfalls.
However, I do want to point out that even when we lived in Los Angeles County, we were able to find trails and parks and sandy (albeit cold) beaches, and other lovely places to enjoy a nature walk. It’s not quite the same as throwing on your creek boots and heading out your back door. It takes a bit more work. But even in a crowded city you can find spots of green to nature walk with your kids.
The Beauty in Taking a Nature Walk with Your Kids
Have you taken your kids on a nature walk lately? There is so much beauty in a nature walk even beyond what we can see, but sometimes it’s hard to make the time to go out on one. Or maybe it’s difficult to go because you live in more of a concrete forest than anything. I’ve been there! Even if the weather has been what’s keeping you home, it’s time to get out!
If an overgrown path through a lively wood isn’t accessible for you right now, a simple walk through your neighborhood or a quick trip to the park will still reap the many benefits of a nature walk. Take your kids along with you to find the beauty where you live.
Here’s why you want to make a nature walk with your kids a priority:
The Benefits of a Nature Walk with your Kids
A nature walk reduces stress.
As adults, we know life can be stressful. Sometimes we don’t realize that life can be stressful for our kids, too. And they have fewer years of experience to know how to handle it. Getting outside can relieve stress that we didn’t even know they were dealing with. A nature walk can change the whole direction of our school day, giving mom and students alike the much needed breath of fresh air to finish out the day strong.
A nature walk promotes family bonding.
All ages can benefit from taking a leisurely walk through the woods or along a path. Your whole family can stroll together, engage in conversation, make observations, and soak in the beauty together. Timeless memories can be made alongside nature.
A nature walk enhances observation skills.
It encourages our kids to use all of their senses, even if they don’t realize it. We can help them by keeping our pace slow and making our own observations. Teaching our kids about our 5 senses and gently encouraging them to use them on our walks will further enhance their skills. Even if we leave them to take it all in on their own, kids have a more natural tendency to employ their senses than grown-ups do, anyway.
A nature walk encourages curiosity and imagination.
Walking in the beauty of God’s incredible imagination brought to life is chocked full of curious mystery. Most of the time we will have no idea what we’re looking at or why it’s there. Our kids will likely ask us questions that we don’t have the answers to, but that’s okay! Encourage your kids to ask those questions anyway. Let their imaginations take flight with their curiosity being the wind that carries them.
A nature walk helps us appreciate God’s beautiful creation. What a gift it is to be able to admire the intricate details God has invested His time in! And it’s a beautiful reminder of how much He truly cares about us. “…you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Luke 12:7).
Give your whole family the gift of a nature walk and soak in the beauty together!
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour.”
-William Blake, poet
Read Creeking with Kids next for more ideas on how to get outside with your kids and love every minute!