|Our kids named this “Y Log”|
Often we think living greener means spending more money, making a sacrifice or making an extra effort. But living green doesn’t have to be hard. Some things that are good for our health, good for the environment and good for our state of mind are easy too. Today, I decided that my boys had had enough screen time, I needed some exercise and that we could all benefit from some simple fun.
You don’t have to live out in the country to take a walk in nature. We live in a city, but right near some woods. You would be surprised by how small of a patch of trees you need to make a couple of young boys feel like they are in the middle of nowhere. I said to Jon “I want to take the boys for a walk in the woods. What can I say to get them to go willingly?” Jon replied “Tell them you are going exploring, and if that doesn’t work, tell them to bring their toy guns.” My toddler was thrilled with the idea, and my older son’s biggest resistance was “Can we go a little later?”
|The Stick – the original wooden toy|
We walked over to the woods. At first my toddler didn’t want to walk and the older one was dragging. I do not consider myself very creative, so at first I wasn’t sure what to say to get them inspired. I started with “Can you find a tree? Look at that rock!” and then shortly “This is called moss.” Within a few minutes they were exploring, noticing and pointing things out. “Look, this is moss too, but it’s different!”
They quickly acquired sticks to play with (what is it with boys and sticks?) and were having a great time. They were looking at the pond and didn’t quite know what to do with it, so I told them they could throw rocks in the water. (I drew a line and told them to throw from behind the line so that they didn’t fall in or get wet by accident.) I was ready to head back – it’s still pretty cold here – but they decided to look for landmarks and see if they could mark a trail and then follow it back.
With all the things we work hard to do to be green, we need to remember that teaching our children to love and appreciate the natural world is one of the most important and easy things we can do. If they don’t love nature, then they simply can’t understand why we want to protect it.
What do you do to help your children appreciate the natural world? Leave a comment telling me!