As someone who designs nature immersion programs for children to learn and explore from their surroundings, the one question I get often is “Is it true? Does nature have a positive impact on our family?”

Research says

“Nature is an important need for many and vital in keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy.”

Our brain is wired to question the authenticity of information and ask“ how ?” Can we take a moment to connect the dots?

What is nature?

It is something more of ​​a natural environment or wilderness and less of human intervention. Does this mean, that safari you took last summer in central India to spot tigers?

Yes, of course! But what about that park behind your colony or the beaches a few kilometres away? All your public parks, shores qualify to be wonderful natural spots for your family.

Okay, now how do we analyze if nature can have a positive impact? Let’s take a few scenarios.

Exposure: If a family has a natural spot closer to their house, they visit the place once in a while.

The probability of children running wild, playing and climbing is higher, which means the family will have access to clean air, quality time together and also the merits of physical activities. We have a number of studies explaining the necessity of good physical exercise.

But nature was a passive positive influence here. 

Engagement: If a family interacts with nature in a more direct, intentional and sustained manner, like observing trees, birds and butterflies around then the impact is greater. Isn’t Mindfulness all about becoming fully aware of the present moment rather than being carried away by the past or the future?

And when we mindfully engage, that’s when nature will have a greater impact on families and their bonds.

Okay, now we know green spots and time together as a family is going to have a positive impact on lives. We still don’t have the energy to take the initiative.

I know Sundays are meant to be lazy mornings and heavy lunches but what if there is something merrier than that?

Stay tuned, next week I will be sharing our few funny anecdotes from programs we organize at Thicket Tales.

Sai Devi

Educator and Founder of Thicket Tales which capacitates children and families to explore and learn from their surroundings through games, experiments and projects.

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