Nature Valley believes that getting outside in nature is vital for both children and adults. To help encourage Canadians to embrace the outdoors, they have graciously sponsored this post and a giveaway for my readers. Be sure to enter below!
Summer is winding down but my family and I are planning to make the most of these last days. The sun is shining, there’s a little breeze in the air, and we need to enjoy every bit of this beautiful summer weather. Did you know that according to a Nature Valley survey conducted by Vision Critical, today’s kids spend much less time outdoors than their parents did? I practically LIVED outside all summer long when I was a child. My dad and I spent hour upon hour hiking nature trails. My friends and I loved to build forts and go for bike rides down that little path through the meadow. If we weren’t doing that, you could bet that we were in the pool. You might have mistaken us for fishes, we spent so much time there!
There are so many temptations inside these days. But, there is just nothing like breathing in the fresh air and spending time revelling in all that nature has to offer. Nature Valley believes that there is amazing joy in reconnecting with nature. Nothing else can compare when it comes to bringing us together as a family, as a community. It’s incredible to think that nature can calm us, energize us, invigorate us, and uplift us in its own unique way that nothing else can do. Research shows that spending time outside brings with it mental and physical healthy benefits and helps relieve the stress we may have in our everyday lives.
Recently, my family spent a long weekend at a cottage on the edge of a lake. We walked on the beach, went swimming, and took long walks around the “neighbourhood”. If we weren’t sleeping, we were outside! All of us felt happier, more relaxed, and more connected as a family. Did you know that by spending time as a family bonding in the outdoors, you’re helping instill positive traits in your children and reinforcing them in yourself? I can attest to that! It took me right back to those carefree days of my youth and I vowed to spend more time outside even once we returned home.
It’s easy, though, in our everyday life to overlook nature. After all, it’s always out there just waiting for us. So, we can do it later, right? We have other things occupying our time and we sometimes forget about the benefits of nature. We need to be reminded to go outside, embrace it, and enjoy it. We may not live by a lake the rest of the year but our own backyard is a great place to play catch with the dog. Or to chase each other around in an impromptu game of tag. Or even to challenge each other to a light sabre battle.
According to Nature Valley research, parents feel tremendous societal pressure to enroll their kids in organized, structured activities, instead of letting them play freely in nature. As a result, scheduled activities tend to fill up kids’ free time – in addition to dinner time, homework time and bed time. I remember coming home after school, dropping off my school bag, and then racing back outside. I wanted to soak up as much time out there as I could before it started getting dark. When dusk hit, we always knew that Trisse’s mom would start ringing that hand bell she had, signalling that it was time to come home. And once that happened, all our moms would use that as their cue to call for the rest of us too.
But these days, I often have excuses. It’s too hot out. It’s too cold out. There are too many bugs. I’m too tired. It’s too much work. I think it’s time to cast those excuses aside and make time in nature a priority for my family and myself!
Nature Valley wants to help make enjoying nature easy and accessible for Canadians. That’s why they developed 100 #NatureMoments for 100 Days of Summer. They want to inspire Canadians to connect with nature, with 100 easy and fun nature moments that demonstrate that nature is closer than we think. As a family, we have pledged to make nature moments a regular part of our routine. We know that simple changes – just little baby steps, one at a time – can make a big difference.
You can make a difference for your family too! Visit NatureValley.ca to access a list of 100 Nature Moments for 100 Days of Summer and get inspired! (PS – even once summer is over, there are still tons of ways we can get outside and enjoy nature with our kids. Some of these ideas will work in any season!)
NATURE VALLEY 100 NATURE MOMENTS FOR 100 DAYS OF SUMMER GIVEAWAY:
One lucky winner will receive the following from Nature Valley:
- Sand Castle set
- Beach Mat
- Large Chalk
- Variety of Nature Valley bars