Dr Jemma Harris founder of Happy Little Bundles offers ideas and inspiration for autumnal family fun.
Are you looking for a way to spend quality time with your children whilst also boosting their wellbeing, social skills and cognitive development? The answer is possibly just on your doorstep.
Autumn presents some great opportunities to spend time outside. Scientific research shows that time with nature is associated with a wide range of benefits for both adults and children- including improving mood and boosting resilience. By incorporating more nature into your routine and into playtime you could therefore help your child to experience the psychological and developmental benefits of developing a stronger connection with the natural world.
The Benefits of Connecting with Nature
Contact with nature has been shown to have a huge range of benefits including improving your general wellbeing, replenishing your attention and increasing your feelings of connection to others and to life in general. Children may also experience a range of other specific benefits from spending more time with nature, including:
Autumn Family Time Ideas
To help your child to benefit from a stronger connection with the natural world this season you could try out some of the following Autumnal activities:
Get seasonal: Take every opportunity to talk about and to learn about the change of season. Explore the different seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available. Wrap up warm and go for long walks. Visit your local parks, nature reserves or simply take the long route to your destination via some local tree lined streets.
Do some gardening: Children often love to spend time digging and planting seeds- whether that be out in the garden or in a window box! Sow some seeds ready for the Spring- poppies or other wildflowers are perfect for scattering in Autumn.
Create an Autumn treasure basket:This time of year can be visually stunning. Collect some Autumn treasures on a trip to the park- items such as leaves (of different shapes, colours and sizes) and pine cones represent reat opportunities for varied sensory experience and learning.
Bring the outside in: Find ways to connect with nature even whilst you are indoors. Pop some herbs or other greenery in vases or jars to spread around your home. Or even use your treasure basket contents to create some Autumnal decorations for your home!
However you choose to do it- dress for the weather, be safe and enjoy some time outdoors together!
Dr Jemma Harris is a mum of two, Chartered psychologist and founder of Happy Little Bundles www.happylittlebundles.co.uk, a social enterprise increasing the impact of research in psychology and education through monthly family activity packs.
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