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.
In 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?
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.
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?
Happy Earth Day and to celebrate here is a fun earth day for kids activity that you can do right at your own home in your yard and neighborhood. Enjoy!
This earth day for kids activity is already child-tested. A parent was working in her yard and noticed a wee creature hiding in the flowers. Well, it may not have been hiding but it’s so well-adapted to it’s surroundings that it blends right in. She snapped a photo, showed it to her kids and asked if they could see it. After they noticed it in the photo, they then went outside to see if they could find it. Can you see it? Hint: it goes ribbit, ribbit and looks sort of like a leaf.
For this activity, take a few minutes to go outside and capture several photos of any interesting items in nature either in your yard, on your deck or balcony, in your neighborhood or at a park that is close.
After snapping a few pictures, show them to your kids and see if they can find the items. Perhaps, a plant off by itself, or a small group of early flowers. There could be a tree with leaves or blossoms. One rock might be very different or there might be a pile of them. Here are some things on our block.
We saw some creatures but getting pictures is much trickier because they are move quickly. The sorts of items that you capture on your phone or camera will depend on the age of your kids. Finding the great big rock was fun for Little Sister but Big Sister thought it was too easy. But she loved the popcorn tree.
Establishing a connection to the Earth and Nature is truly valuable, particularly for kids. Life will always have challenges and time in nature can renew and replenish us. It supports all of us. Earth Day is a special time to develop an awareness and appreciation for our world. How will you and your child celebrate Earth Day?
There will be a tremendous range of activities all over for Earth Day. Have you and your child ever gone on a “hello-walk” in your neighborhood? While one of the most simple things to do is to go for a walk, it’s one of the most special because we get to say hello to everything around us. That’s basically a hello-walk is, going for a walk and greeting different parts of Earth. An awareness of surroundings helps with kindergarten readiness but connecting to nature will last a lifetime.
For some added fun, find a piece of paper in the recycling and trace your child’s hand. Cut this out and tape to a straw. Now, on the walk, your child can wave hello to nature and greet Earth.
Together, you and your child can dress for the weather and go for a walk. Look up and down and all around. What’s the sky like where you are? Can you and and your child say hello to the clouds? It’s hard to say hello to the sun, because it’s too bright to look at, but we can wave. There might be raindrops in the sky for some people, or even a rainbow.
Now, for the ground. Check out what’s just underneath your feet. There could be grass, or rocks, or dirt, or flowers, or for some cooler places, still snow on the ground. Say hello to what’s down there. Worms and bugs are often hiding in the grass. If possible, let your child turn over some rocks and see what might be there. Remember to say hello and listen carefully. Did they answer?
If it’s spring where you live, are there any flowers? We are fortunate enough to have blossoms on the cherry and apple trees, so we can tell the trees that we love all the pink and white flowers. Are there other plants?
This simple conversation will last a lifetime! What will you and your child do for Earth Day today?
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