Exploring Nature with Children

Ideas on how you can connect your family to nature through the seasons.

| December 2017

The Creative Family Manifesto(Roost Books, 2017) by Amanda Blake Soule dives into the challenges of raising children during our time. You can find advice on how to embrace life with a more simple approach and learn how to create meaningful connections along the way. The following handmade guide will allow time to relax, play and grow together. This following excerpt is from Chapter seven “Exploring Through Nature”.

Exploring Through Nature

 Flee to the Wilderness. The one within, if you can find it. — Utah Phillips

There’s no greater source of creative inspiration, beauty, and art than the planet we live on. Nearly every artist will tell you that they draw great inspiration from the natural world — from the beauty in the falling leaves of a forest to the way a child’s toes dig into the sand. As adults, many of our favorite childhood memories are connected with spots in nature — a walk in the woods behind Grandma’s house, a neighborhood tree we climbed often, or a tree house we escaped to. Nature can be both our inspiration and our meditation. It can be a way that we connect with the earth and ourselves and, through that, find our creative spirits and energy.

I don’t think there is anything more beautiful or inspiring to me than watching children just be in nature. When they are able to be free in their environment — free in mind and free in spirit — their inherent sense of connection to the earth is strong and alive. As a parent, I feel blessed and inspired to watch this process unfold throughout their childhoods.

It is important not only to spend time outdoors, but to bring the outside in as well. The things we surround ourselves with have a great impact on how we view our world. This is particularly true for our children, for whom everything is new and fresh. The beauty of the world around us — the changing color of the leaves on the trees, the smoothness of rocks at a beach, the acorns left behind in autumn — all of these objects are full of beauty and inspi­ration. Being around and in the natural world as much as possible should be a primary goal of childhood. But while that’s not always possible (we all need to come inside and sleep most nights, don’t we?), it is possible to bring a bit of the outside into our homes and, in effect, into our hearts and souls all the time.

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