I’ll bet you have the cutest, smartest, most talented child in your life – He/she may be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, God-son or daughter and because you love them you want the very best for their life. Am I right? Of course I am!
Well, gift giving is right around the corner and you can wade through all the advertising and ask them to give you a list of the stuff they think they have to have OR you can choose to give of yourself and a connection to Nature. Huh? You also want to get the award for being the coolest mom, Grammy or uncle, too?
Okay- here’s the scoop – kids who spend unlimited, unstructured time outdoors in the natural world are more creative, have better visual spatial skills and are physically more healthy. They are better problem solvers, learners and more compassionate than kids who don’t get the nature connection.
So here is my list of the best Nature ‘toys’ for the most amazing kids in your life:
- natural wood blocks
- books about nature
- rock (shell, bug, snowflake, etc.) collection gear (magnifying glass, catch and release box/net,)
- 4-H camp scholarship
- membership at your local Iowa Nature Center
- weekly or monthly outing with Family Club activities
- camping or hiking trip in a county park
- snowshoes, X country skis or other outdoor gear
- Plant a tree together
- seeds for a garden (you plant it together, etc.)
- Eco Family Virtual Conference (for the whole family!)
You get the idea – electronics are fine and have a place in our children’s lives, but the connection with you and the natural world are essential for developing young brains and bodies. Be the coolest – give the gift of nature!