Since beginning the #150hoursoutside Project at the start of this year, I’ve received tons of questions asking me how to gather a group of families and get a nature group or Forest School group meetup started. This is something I’ve done in the past, and recently started back up again in my local community (we’re just getting ready to start our Summer session!). So I figured I’d share my tips and tricks for getting a local group off the ground in your area in the easiest way possible.
You’ve probably heard about some of the amazing benefits of letting your children climb trees. In our #150hoursoutside Project, we even had a tree climbing challenge one week to encourage everyone to get out into the forest and give it a try. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, not only have we seen an epic decrease in the average amount of time our children are spending outside in free play everyday (4-7 MINUTES on average! Yikes!), but along with that, the enjoyment of tree climbing has all but disappeared.
I recently shared inside the #150hoursoutside Facebook Group about this little Pocket Bear that I made for my sons for Christmas to take on their adventures throughout the year, and the feedback was immediate: YES, WE WANT THEM! I believe these adorable little bears will become our “official” #150hoursoutside mascots, and I cannot WAIT to start seeing these little creatures pop up in photos all around the world!
One of my greatest missions is to encourage more families and schools to get their children outdoors and learning through the beauty and wonder of nature. Over the years I believe I have succeeded in doing this through my curriculum, courses, challenges, workshops, etc. However, I’ve been feeling lately like there hasn’t been quite as much impact as I’d like there to be. And then, completely randomly one morning while I was simultaneously making breakfast for my kids and chatting with a friend online, this concept came to me. I sat with it and journaled out ideas for about a week, and the #150hoursoutside Project was born.
Today in our Month of Magic giveaway, we’re talking about one of the easiest ways to bring more nature into your learning space – bringing in some indoor plants!
If you don’t already have plants in your learning space (or all around your home, for that matter), this is one of the most important things you can do to increase your child’s exposure to nature. When they have a chance to care for plants in their own environment they are more likely to take responsibility for nature. Not to mention, when you bring plants indoors you are *literally* growing fresh air!
“Natural learning” is a phrase you’ll see all over my site, my social media, and in my courses, curriculum, books, and live videos that I do… so what EXACTLY does that mean?
If you’ve been a follower of mine for any amount of time, then you know that learning through nature and using Mother Nature as a resource for knowledge and joy is something that I talk about frequently. Today though, I’m going to get super clear on the definition of “Natural Learning” because it goes far beyond simply using nature as your primary resources for learning!
Natural learning is a philosophy that encompasses two major beliefs:
For years now I’ve seen posts and photos of gorgeous wax-dipped Fall leaves; and I have always wanted to give it a try. Finally this year, with my sons’ obsessive leaf-collecting habits in full swing, it was time!
This is a great activity for kids starting around the preschool/kindergarten age. The wax is hot, but solidifies as soon as it touches skin, so it’s not dangerous. My 5-year old handled the project with ease. The 2-year old helped with leaf gathering on our nature walk and laying them out to dry.
Whether you are decorating your playroom, bedroom, or living room, nature is a low cost – high reward option!