Do you know that feeling you get when you've been in close contact with the earth for a long time? Maybe you were at the park with the kids and couldn't find a reason to leave, or you ran into a friend unexpectedly and talked and walked for an extra hour or two, while the kids enjoyed an extra long play. The feeling of fresh air in your lungs after a long winter, your nose and cheeks cool but not frozen, and pulling out your warmest sweater in exchange for your winter jacket.
This is spring. And this feeling I get I call 'groundedness'. It is all about reconnecting to the earth, and it is like medicine for our very being! I know I tend to feel more calm, connected, and I rest well after being outside. Here are five ways to connect to the earth with your child this spring.
1. BE OUTSIDE
Spring fever is great at kicking us out the door. Melting snow and budding crocuses inspire us to pick up garbage in our streets and parks, so grab a bag and some tongs!
I love creating something outside. One of my favourite activities is picking up all the sticks and other treasures in the park or trail and creating a teepee or nature mandala on the ground.
Does your child identify with a particular local animal or tree? Ask them to come up with a ’nature name’ for themself or name a favourite tree close to home that you often pass. The connections are endless.
'Earthing' is another wonderful way to directly connect to the earth this spring. This exercise involves simply making direct contact to the earth with your feet. After a long winter it feels good to get out of those restricting shoes and boots. And I can guarantee your child will think it's fun to walk through the park barefoot!
2. BE WELL EQUIPPED
In Norway they say “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Take ownership of your child’s outerwear wardrobe and equip them well for being outdoors no matter the weather. Buying second-hand can help meet this need while being sensitive to your wallet. Teach your child that wearing layers is practical and they can easily remove them if they get too hot. Being out in varied weather develops an appreciation for nature in a special way, and make sure you the parent are also well equipped!
3. EAT LOCAL FOOD
Eating food from our local soil can profoundly connect us to the earth. Visiting local markets in the spring and talking to our farmers about how and where our food is grown is grounding for the whole family! Most very young children are fascinated by farms and farmers, so these conversations can be very natural.
4. START GARDENING
What a better way to connect to the earth than putting your hands in the soil. A child doesn’t need much to keep them happy - soil, a spoon and container will do just fine. Let them play, and get dirty!
5. BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
For those days and naps you need to be inside, there are always ways to bring the outdoors in. We have a ‘treasure basket’ in our front entranceway. All the treasures we collect from our outdoor adventures end up in there when it’s time to come in. Later we can do an activity with them, such as nature journaling, crafting, sorting, and counting.
You can also take the time to plan your garden for the season with your child. Let them draw a picture to show you what they’d like to have in their garden. Which plants would they like to pick and eat? What colours would they like to see when they go outside?
All the best in your outdoor pursuits this spring!
To many long days outside,