There are so many benefits to nature play. Nature play is time spent playing outdoors in nature and true nature play is free and unstructured play that is led completely by the child, not an adult. Sadly, children spend a lot less time playing outside due to our current lifestyles, time limitations, too much focus on structured activities and concerns about risk and safety. As multi-sensory beings nature play allows opportunities to connect to our environment and promotes health benefits such as reduced stress, increased physical health and increased resilience.
And what’s even better…. Nature play is really simple!!
Grab a magnifying glass and basket and you have yourself a nature hunt! Go exploring and see what goodies you can find either in your own backyard, at the local park or on a hike. Why not go a step further and try a local farm, bushlands, rivers, botanical gardens, arboretum, beach or even caves. You and your little ones will be focused on seeing the small details of the world around you. It’s amazing to see what wonders we find when we step away for the busyness of our day to day routine.
Why not take a notepad for your little ones to write down or draw their findings or create a nature hunt checklist including eg feathers, pinecones, flowers, mushrooms, etc.
And the babies don't miss out either! Make up an experience tub filled with nature’s treasures. You could use mud or sand to hide shells, leaves, stones, twigs and create a sensory experience. Take your baby for a walk in the park and point out all the different colours, shapes and textures you see and let them experience texture by touch. Don’t forget to look up at the sky and clouds. Make music together using natural instruments like shells, leaves and sticks.
What ever you choose to do and wherever you choose to go, just have fun exploring ✨
Michelle @playthedayaway_ and Emma @littlememedesigns