image

Fun ways you can suggest for children to reconnect with nature in the garden

Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. 

For those who are lucky enough to have their own garden, there are lots of ways to connect with nature and benefit from a wellbeing boost in the process.

With social distancing at the height of the agenda at present, you might need to make sure you keep a safe distance from neighbours, so be sensible and follow the all-important guidelines. But gardens can bolster wellbeing for both children and adults, says gardening writer, presenter and horticultural influencer Ellen Mary.

Mary, who specialises in gardening for wellbeing, has just launched a 30 Moments In Nature challenge on her website (ellenmarygardening.co.uk), featuring activities to help people reconnect with nature.

“We all lead such busy lives, with everyday stresses of work, school and digital life, that ‘nature deficit disorder’ and even ‘plant blindness’ has become all too real,” she says.

“There is nature everywhere, and spotting it, even in the most unlikely places, can give a much better understanding of how we are all connected – to nature, not our phones.”

Here, Mary offers top tips on how you and your grandchildren can reconnect with nature in the garden… If you are to able to see them at the moment perhaps you could share these tips with other family members?

1. Garden tracing

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Tracing of wood carving

A post shared by Mary McCusker (@marymccusker) on

This is an activity many of us took part in at school as a child and it’s still really good fun, no matter what age we are. Children can learn about plants and trees in their garden, identify them and be outside away from computers and mobile phones. Studies have shown that walking among trees reduces levels of cortisol and can even boost the immune system.

Activity: Take a walk in your garden with some paper and a crayon. Trace the bark of a tree, if you have one, and a fallen leaf to stick on the paper by your tracing. Look closely at the tree, identify it, touch the bark and the leaves. Back inside, put it on your fridge. Each time you look at your tracing, remember how you felt in the garden, the smells and the air on your face.

2. Walk barefoot

Toes GIF by Hysteria - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Walking barefoot brings us into direct contact with the planet and allows us to absorb the natural energy the earth provides. This is known as ‘earthing’ and it’s said to have a host of benefits. Great on a warm morning in the garden.

Activity: Get your socks off! Put your shoes aside. Feel liberated by walking outside on the lawn or a soft outdoor surface with bare feet. Feel the natural negative charge from the earth being absorbed through the soles of your feet. Allow it to happen, accept it. Breathe deeply and relax.

3. Spot a star constellation

Enjoy some star gazing

When we are busy looking down at phones and laptops, it’s easy to forget to look up. By looking up at the night sky not only is it a hub of fascination and awe but it’s also a relaxing activity before bedtime. Finding shapes in the moon and trying to spot star constellations can be a lovely way to switch off before a good night’s sleep.

Activity: Did you ever stare at the stars as a child and wonder what they are? Glistening in the sky, light years away. It’s really good fun identifying star constellations but if you can’t work out where Orion is, make your own shapes in the sky like a dot-to-dot drawing.

4. Sow some seeds

Sow seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labour

Sowing seeds is now only a great way to grow your own food, but also for children to understand where their food comes from. Great seeds to try with children are sunflowers, nasturtiums and microgreens, which grow really quickly.

Activity: Be mindful and sow some seeds. Before you do, feel the seeds in your hand. What is the texture, shape, size? Look close at the detail – does each seed differ? Smell them and if they are edible, taste them. Be marvelled at the way those tiny seeds become big fruits, vegetables or flowers.

5. See life beneath

You can find fascinating creatures under stones

Picking up a large stone from your garden, your children will be able to marvel at the life beneath. They’ll be fascinated by the woodlice, ants, worms and beetles. We forget that inner child as we grow up and life takes over.

Activity: Revisit those memorable moments with your children, lifting a stone in your garden and encouraging the children to stay inquisitive and keep looking.

The following two tabs change content below.

The Press Association

News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!