Featured Editorial

10 All Natural Activities to Organically Boost Outdoor Family Fun with Nature

I'll be the first to admit that there are times when I would be considered to be a less-than-willing participant. Year-round our family spends a great deal of outdoors enjoying (for the most part) personal wellness and the many wonders of nature. We are quite fortunate to live in a scenic, rural community within the mountains along the Appalachian Trail. On the best of days, we're taking advantage of cooler morning temperatures and mid-day sunshine to get outdoors for a hike, to garden, play outside, get together with family and friends, or tackling household chores. Grounding ourselves with cool earth beneath our feet and open skies overhead, surrounded by a fragrant breeze is an especially revitalizing experience. How does nature affect you? Step outside for a moment of reflection. We partnered with Sandi Schwartz, a fellow nature-lover for 10 all-natural activities to organically boost outdoor family fun with nature.

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10 All Natural Activities to Organically Boost Outdoor Family Fun with Nature 

Mom and author, Sandi Schwartz is passionate about nature and the environment. In her books, Finding 
Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, and Sky's Search for Ecohappiness, she shares many fun, hands-on nature-loving activities for families to enjoy together. Filled with colorful images and activity checklists, Finding Ecohappiness offers a comprehensive toolkit of nature-based stress reduction tools for families with school-aged children. Topics addressed include awe and gratitude, mindfulness, creative arts, outdoor play, travel and adventure, volunteering, food, and animals. Here is a sampling of activities for you to try with your kids-

- Visit nature-filled spots that will help your children be more mindful, such as forests, hiking 
trails, beaches, waterfalls, and botanical gardens.

 Test out a variety of natural scents by either purchasing essential oils, sprays, and other products or searching for the scents outside in your neighborhood or in a local park.

- Stock up on essential nature play tools like shovels, rakes, hoes, buckets, collection boxes, binoculars, a compass, a magnifying glass, a flashlight, tweezers, bug cages, and nets.

- Go on a family nature walk; look for a StoryWalk program in your community.

- Try new types of green exercise as a family, such as orienteering, paddleboarding, and mountain biking.

- Go for a walk and ask your children to point out beautiful nature scenes. Take pictures during your adventure and then have your kids either draw or paint what they saw or put together a collage of the photos.

- Take art projects outdoors such as sidewalk chalk or bring an easel out in your backyard or on the balcony so they can paint.

- Take your children birdwatching or sign them up for a children’s birdwatching club near you. You can find birds at public gardens, nature centers, local parks, and zoos; near bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and oceans; and even in your own backyard.

- Start a family garden in your backyard. If you do not have the space for a garden, consider starting slow by growing a few herbs on your windowsill or one vegetable at a time in a large flowerpot.

- Visit a U-Pick farm or shop at a farmer’s market for fresh produce.

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