During the COVID-19 crisis, if you’re experiencing cabin fever and your kids (and you) are climbing (or drawing on) the walls indoors, we’ve got a plan to keep you connected with nature! The mental, physical, social and emotional benefits of regular and meaningful opportunities to connect with nature are many and vital for the health of kids, families, people of all ages and our planet. But, during this time, we’re being asked to keep our physical distance from others and stay home except for accessing essential services, perhaps connecting with nature isn’t at the forefront of our minds.
But nature is still open for business and a good bit of fresh air, nature time and outdoor fun can help keep you happy and healthy.
Of course, if you can go outdoors and into nature, there are a few things you can do to help keep you, your family and others healthy and well:
If you or your family are feeling unwell it’s best to stay home and seek medical advice
Only go out with people in your household
Keep to yourself and maintain appropriate distances in public areas
Take your own food and water
Be aware public toilet facilities may be unavailable or closed
Practice good handwashing
ALWAYS follow the advice and directions of health and Government authorities in your area.
But to those of us who are finding it harder to access nature today, there is some fantastic news: you can bring nature indoors too! We’ve put together a list of 31 of our favorite Bucket Full Of Nature activities that you can do indoors (or outdoors when safe to do so). It’s called the Bucket Full Of Nature Challenge.
The challenge is adapted from the Family Nature Bucket List activity I shared in a blog on the C&NN website a few years ago during the Vitamin N Challenge. I created the idea for the Family Nature Bucket list when I first started running Family Nature Connection Retreats. I wanted to create a simple and fun tool to help inspire and empower families to continue their journey outdoors together once they returned to the realities of school, home, work and over-work. I didn’t want families to just come up with another “to do” list of activities. I wanted them to really get clear on why they wanted to get outdoors together. I have found that when you have your eye on the why you become much more engaged and motivated to do the what.
After putting all of the qualities on my “wishlist” together, out sprang the Family Nature Bucket List, or FNBL. The FNBL is exactly that; a bucket containing a list of your family’s desired nature activities. It only takes about 30 minutes to create the tool and a commitment (daily, weekly, monthly) to try out activities “pinned” to the FNBL.
We hope you’ll find by taking part in the Bucket Full Of Nature “Nature at Home” Challenge that exploring nature can be fun inside or out. Your family can take on fun activities such as creating nature crowns, making nature bracelets, making a birdbath, dissecting a flower or going cloud spotting. As you embark on your adventure, we’d love to see what you’re up to! Share your photos, videos and experiences on the Nurture in Nature Facebook page or the C&NN Facebook page as well as on Instagram with the tags #familynaturebucketlist #natureathome #nurtureinnature.
Photo Credit: Nurture in Nature
Note: The Children & Nature Network has consulted with members of the public health community who assure us that encouraging outside time, especially nearby home and at a distance of at least 6 feet from others, is not only safe but recommended for reducing anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other ailments that come with social isolation.
Tania Moloney is the founder of Nurture in Nature Australia. As a dairy farmer's daughter, she has a head and heart full of childhood memories of family camping trips, building cubbies, sleeping under the stars and playing with sticks. Now, with her own young family, she wants those memories and experiences for her children, too — and for every child in Australia and around the world.
Additional Reading & Resources Nurture in Nature 10 Nature Activities to Help Get Your Family Through the Coronavirus Pandemic NATURE GOES ON: Rediscovering the Rhythm of Nature in a Crisis Noah’s New Ark: Environmental Catastrophe and the Power of Love by Richard Louv for Psychology Today FIRE AND FERMENTATION: Tragedy and Renewal Nature RX: The Best Medicine TOGETHER IN NATURE Pathways to a Stronger, Closer Family C&NN’s Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit
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