Families and afterschool programs provide essential protective factors for children experiencing adversity. As communities are facing physical distancing challenges, it’s a key time to share resources and ideas to engage and support families through wellness and nature. These ideas are simple, inclusive and intergenerational resources, designed to keep your communities growing and thriving.
- Discuss how can nature promote wellness. This article, “Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety,” can help lead your conversation! What are some ways your family likes to spend time in nature?
- Make paper mache using whole grain flour, and spend time talking about the importance of whole grain in our diets, and how it keeps you healthy. Some of our favorite things to make out of paper mache are bowls, a favorite animal, or a birdfeeder you can paint and hang outside!
- Start a nature walk and wonder journal, and spend time exploring outside while you draw what you see and use your senses to identify what you smell, hear or feel.
- Create your own fossils by pressing items that you found on your nature walk, like leaves, twigs and shells, into clay. Once the clay has hardened, you have a lasting memory of your time spent outside!
- Design a tissue paper suncatcher that can hang in your window. This is a great way to talk about colors and how the suncatcher looks different on sunny days versus cloudy days.
- Build a seed blaster! Spreading seeds can help grow flowers and plants in your backyard, or consider using birdseed to provide a snack for our feathered friends.
For more ideas on spending engaging time together, visit the Healthier Generation blog.
Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH, is the Director of Community Partnerships for Alliance for a Healthier Generation.