As the temperatures rise again and the sun stays out longer, it becomes easier and more enjoyable to step out your door and explore nature. Even if your schedule makes it difficult to get your kids outside, it’s well worth it to find opportunities to get outside and immerse you and your family in a natural setting.
Nature Calms the Mind in Children
Being exposed to natural scenery, even something as simple as a trip to a nature park has been shown to have incredible calming effects. Our brains naturally respond to the patterns in nature in a way that causes feelings of stress to sharply drop. Natural scenery contains a high amount of fractals, which are small patterns that mimic a larger whole. Trees are a perfect example of this, where branches extend from tree trunks and then continue to break up into smaller branches. Immersing your kids in a natural setting also allows them to center their minds by leaving distractions behind them, which can be especially beneficial for kids with ADHD. Being in nature also has been shown to reduce the presence of the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, which will naturally allow your kids to feel more at ease.
Natural Light Helps Regulate Sleep
If your kids are having a hard time sleeping, they could be missing some needed time in nature. Being outside means being exposed to blue light, which stimulates the brain and helps you feel energized. The pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin, the hormone that makes people feel sleepy. This gland responds to the natural light levels, staying inactive during the day and activating to produce melatonin at night. However, if your kids aren’t getting enough exposure to natural light during the day, it can make it hard for them to feel energized at the right times, meaning they will have energy at the wrong time. By making sure your kids get some time outside, you can help them naturally calm down when it comes time for bed.
Being in Nature is Perfect for Physical Activity
When exploring nature, you’ll certainly want to stop to take in the views, but you also want to keep on walking to see what’s next. Getting outside and enjoying nature gets your kids moving without much effort. You can come up with creative games if you want, but most often you just need to go for a walk and your kids will enjoy running ahead and pointing out all the cool things they see. When you get your kids moving outside, their bodies produce endorphins, which helps boost their mood and their mental clarity, allowing your kids to focus better.
As you continue to see sunnier days and warmer temperatures in the forecast, start adjusting your kids’ schedules to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. And of course, you’ll find that exploring outside will be a great way to feel happier and healthier yourself.