As spring arrives and the cold weather begins to dwindle, many families are getting back into nature and participating in fun outdoor activities. Getting outside is important for mental health, especially for children who are still trying to process the pandemic. In recent findings, organizations such as the American Psychological Association say the public health crisis has been detrimental to the mental health of children and parents are looking for ways to counteract it.
Going outside and practicing mindfulness has proved to be a very effective and therapeutic way of boosting the moods of young children. This combination of activities is what many experts call “ecotherapy.”
Here is how to practice “Ecotherapy” with your children:
1.) Get Creative. Have your child create an art project outside. Have them focus on the colors and sounds around them. Have your children try some DIY activities like sidewalk chalk, water color painting or leaf etching.
2.) Quiet Time. Have your children take a break from screen time and headphones. Take them on a hike and have them focus on their surroundings. Have them listen to the world around them.
3.) Build a Garden. Keeping an outdoor garden can have many benefits such as allowing children to touch and feel the soil which helps them get in touch with their senses. It also teaches them where our food comes from and healthy eating habits. Visit our blog post on How Gardening Benefits Children here https://steppingstoneschool.com/gardening-benefits-children/
for more insights.
These are just some of the many ideas you can practice with your children. Boosting your child’s mood and mental health outdoors can be a fun and exciting way to embrace the warmer spring weather, and enjoy some quality family time.
Rachel Buchholz (2022). How can I Boost My Kid’s Mental Health by Going Outside? National Geographic, (1).