How To Find Tranquility In Nature As A Family
Ways to Get Back to Nature
The options for entertainment available these days is overwhelming. We can take our favorite television shows, movies and video games with us just about anywhere we go, thanks to the invention of devices like smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. The use of electronics has become a very common habit, and it is one that many modern families struggle with. Parents must try to balance allowing their children to engage in screen time while also teaching them to notice and appreciate the world around them. Here are a few suggestions for getting your family away from the barrage of electronics entertainment and out into the wonders of nature.
Hike It Up
You don’t have to be an expert outdoorsman or a fitness fanatic in order to get the benefits of hiking. Hikes can be intense, but they can also be easily adjusted to physical capabilities. You can choose the pace and the terrain, so if you have very young children or a family member with physical challenges, you can still enjoy some time on the trails. If you take the time to also point out the animals and greenery to your loved ones, you can take advantage of the opportunity to get them interested in and engaged with the natural world. Children especially tend to become fascinated with things like butterflies, toads, worms and colorful flowers. To really make a hobby of it, try keeping a journal with your kids of all of the things that they are encountering on their hikes. When you get home, help them to research and learn more about each item or creature. Chances are good that they will continue to hike and want to learn as much as they can.
Fishing for Family Time
If you want to teach your children a skill that they can carry with them and develop, you may want to try fishing. The startup cost is relatively minimal, and will get everyone out enjoying the beauty of the water – whether you fish from a lake, river or pond. Children enjoy the excitement of casting the line and “getting a nibble”. The best way for them to engage in the art of fishing is to let them get dirty and as close to the water as possible. Just make sure that you invest in a good pair of kids waders so that they are protected from getting too soaked or muddy. Let them learn how to bait the hook, and then work on reeling in the catch. Soon they will be hooked on fishing, and you will have helped them to develop a lifelong and relaxing hobby. As an added bonus, fishing teaches patience and focus, so it is ideal for kids who may struggle with a short attention span or hyperactivity. If you are able to keep what you catch, you can also teach them to be self-reliant by showing them the proper way to prepare a fish for eating.
Everyone loves a good campfire. If you have family members who do not typically enjoy the outdoors, try luring them in with a few campfire traditions such as storytelling and roasted marshmallows. Get the kids involved by collecting the wood for burning – and use this time to also remind them of the importance of fire safety. Then choose roasting sticks, apply marshmallows and hot dogs, and let the tall tales begin. Make up stories or tell traditional yarns, and watch their faces light up. When things quiet down and the fire begins turns from roaring to smoldering, listen to the sounds of crickets, owls and frogs and let them lull you into a peaceful state of mind. If you are prepared to do so, let your family sleep under the stars. If you can, try to make this a regular activity – it is good for the brain and the soul to spend this kind of quality time away from modern conveniences and perform a detox of sorts. Everyone will come away from it feeling energized and connected.
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