Earth Day Forest Bath for Kids – Connecting to Nature and Trees

A marvelous idea for celebrating is to spend some time with trees, an Earth Day Forest Bath for kids and adults. Even if it means visiting a forest, a bath conveys the sense of being immersed in them, relaxing in the stillness and connecting our energy to the forest.

kids need more hiking timeIn Japan, Forest Bathing has been part of the national public health program for decades. It’s been proven to “lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.”

While this is for adults, children benefit too. The very young suffer from stress and anxiety. Childhood comes with attacks on the immune system as kids cope with all kinds of contagious challenges. Building a connection, a relationship to nature while they are young will support children for a lifetime.Finding a place with trees can be a challenge in urban areas. Parks are often the best option unless you can go to a wilderness area close by. Once you get to a place with trees, spend a minute or two with your child looking at them. Look down on the ground for pine cones. Then, look up. Do the trees go far up to the sky? Any spring blossoms?earth day activites for kids

Not all trees are the same. The leaves are different, but closer to the ground, the bark is too. Some trees have rough bark and some are smooth. Young kids won’t want to spend much time looking at trees, but feeling the bark is quite sensory. Trees with exposed roots can be a home for little creatures, real and imaginary ones. The branches and leaves may be sheltering a bird’s nest but nests are hard to see.

One of the most fun activities for kids is to climb a tree. Of course, this can be risky although it is magical, almost like being able to fly.

child climbing trees

In some areas, there may be tiny trees available for planting. Many commercial nurseries have specials on trees for Earth Day. This is wonderful day for connecting to nature. Will in include an Earth Day forest bath for kids and the rest of the family?

 

Adventures for Kids – Kids’ Programs, Preschool & Kindergarten Magic #10

Adventures for kids in early programs like playschool, daycare, preschool, and kindergarten is one parent’s wish. She remembers going places herself and wishes her kids could. Although she understands why it’s more complicated now than it was for her, it’s an understandable wish. We all have memories of places we were able to visit and things we got to do as kids. Some of them were once-in-a-lifetime special treats but many of them were ordinary, at least, adults would think so.

adventures for kids

What’s some adventures for kids you remember doing? I remember picking raspberries with my grandmother. I have no idea why this is so vivid but I remember the magic. We would tie buckets around our waists, pull on hats, and off we’d go. The raspberry rows were so long and she would remind me to “Pick the bush clean before you go to the next.” The smile in her voice was underneath her words as we worked together. This memory sits alongside an airplane trip with my grandfather to see the Midnight Sun. But they are both adventures.

connecting to nature picnic

Going out for breakfast can be special to a child, or staying at home and having a big spread for the whole family on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Eating outside is always fun but if you can’t, any meal can be a mini-adventure by putting a blanket on the floor and having a picnic.  Or, a real tea party using the play dishes. Turn an ordinary Friday night into a beach party, movie night, or pizza and popcorn feast.

The picnic in this photo happened on the sidewalk at the side of the house. It was great fun.

empty box pirate play

Adventures for kids can come in all shapes and sizes, including an empty appliance box with its big dimensions and possibilities. Set up inside or outside, the adventure is imaginary but no less magical. Vacations also have almost limitless possibilities for adventures and can be far away or close to home. Hiking is a wonderful adventure of discovery. Days at the beach or in the forest are treasures for kids while nights in a tent are better than ones in castles.

camping for kids

Farms are magical places, especially for kids in the city. Is there one your family or childcare program can visit? The fire station, police station, vet clinic, and local hospital often have available times for field trips or open houses. If the grocery store is quiet one morning and you have some extra time, ask the manager if it’s possible to show your child the giant fridges in the back. Imagine a refrigerator as big as a bedroom, that’s exciting.farm adventures for kids

With pressures on family budgets and, it’s all too easy to say that we can’t afford a holiday or an adventure. But we can make adventures for kids. Have a beach party right in the backyard, camp out in the living room, get groceries at a farmer’s market, invite an elderly neighbor over for tea. What kind of adventure be a play-of-the-day?

Science Learning Fun – Magic for Early Programs, Preschool and Kindergarten #9

Science learning fun is a super wish for early programs for kids. Science is part of school for older kids, but younger kids love science too. It’s more than another subject, it’s like a setting or channel in the brain for interacting with the world.

science fun for young children

This series of blog posts is inspired by parents and caregivers. They’ve answered the question, “If you had a wish or magic wand for something for kids in a program like preschool or kindergarten, what would it be? One parent wished for some great science activities. Ones that nourish the brain and children’s spirit of curiosity.

This is almost like the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”

Science doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t need expensive materials. Many of them can be found right at home. These videos from Raising Dragons  have some very doable science. They are definitely child friendly.

Baking soda and vinegar combine for some explosive learning. From volcanoes to a rainbow in a dish, it’s always a treasure to watch the action. Kids like action!

Orange you glad science can be this easy and this fun? Before trying the orange, ask your child what s/he thinks it might do in water. Will it float or sink? This builds on the curiosity.

Science ideas often come from kids themselves, as it says in the description for this one. White corn syrup and green food coloring create a work of art.

These are all activities that can happen in a kitchen at home, as well as on a table in a care center for kids. We really must nurture the sense of wonder in young children. Children are so naturally curious as they explore the world around them and seek to figure it out. Their questions now can bring answers for the future. Can science learning fun and play be part of your child’s day?

Practical Pretend Play for Kids – Magic Wish for Preschool & Kindergarten #8

Practical pretend play and resources for kids is magic wish #8. For this blog series, parents are sharing something they wish could be in early programs. Even if it’s imaginary, pretend play helps kids with the real world. When kids pretend, they are taking a slice of reality. They juggle this bit all around and … Continue reading Practical Pretend Play for Kids – Magic Wish for Preschool & Kindergarten #8

Combine Art, Manners, Kids for Magic – #7 Magic for Preschool – Kindergarten

If you need a formula for magic, combine art, manners, kids and imagination. This month, people who work with kids are sharing  their wishes for programs like preschool and kindergarten. Both moms, Nicolle and Catherine, wanted more hands-on activities and Nicolle had a suggestion. Not just play dough, how about a clay station? The word … Continue reading Combine Art, Manners, Kids for Magic – #7 Magic for Preschool – Kindergarten

Coloring Easter Egg Faces – Unplanned but Meaningful for Kids

This year instead of egg on our faces, as the expression goes, we ended up coloring Easter egg faces. It wasn’t planned but was very meaningful, for us all.Coloring Easter eggs is something we do every year in one form or another. This year, we hard-cooked the eggs, got out the cups and spoons, and … Continue reading Coloring Easter Egg Faces – Unplanned but Meaningful for Kids

Easter Egg Magnet Science Fun – Quite An Attraction

Plastic Easter eggs and some small bits from the junk drawer combined for Easter egg magnet science fun and it was quite an attraction for wee hands.Do you have a drawer in the kitchen to hold all the assorted bits and pieces that don’t go anywhere else? While often called the junk drawer, these things … Continue reading Easter Egg Magnet Science Fun – Quite An Attraction

Easter Egg Float-Sink Science Fun for a Play-of-the-Day

A good chunk of our afternoon was in the kitchen, not baking but at the sink with hands in warm water, for some Easter egg float-sink science fun. A winner! Do you have a junk drawer in the kitchen? We do and this experiment starts with hunting in the stuff for small items that will … Continue reading Easter Egg Float-Sink Science Fun for a Play-of-the-Day

Two Easter Bunny Carrot Snacks Kids Can Help Make

What do Easter bunnies eat? They eat carrots and here are two quick, easy, and nutritious Easter bunny carrot snacks kids can help make. Yummy too.  Carrots grow in a garden, in the dirt. To make a garden, open a tin of refried black beans. Using refried beans is much easier for mixing because they … Continue reading Two Easter Bunny Carrot Snacks Kids Can Help Make

Combine Kids, Nature, Easter For Spring Fun and Learning

For some spring fun and learning combine kids, nature, Easter and enjoy this treat. We’ve done this activity before and were just waiting for a day to do it again! Do your kids like to hunt for Easter eggs? Crystal, at Crystal and Co calls this Reverse Easter Eggs. Kids start with eggs and instead … Continue reading Combine Kids, Nature, Easter For Spring Fun and Learning