Our relationship to nature is changing.
This past Thursday, I posted a Throwback Thursday on Instagram, featuring short shorts, shiny black hair and of course, jelly slippers. (Go on, take a look.) Reactions from friends and followers ranged from my obvious fashionista prowess to comments about the colour of my skin.
You’re so tanned! Wow, you were dark! Look at how different you looked!
Yes, I was much darker as a child than I am now. But before you chalk it up to some Beyoncé-esque skin bleaching, the truth is, as a child, I spent every waking summertime moment outside. (Also, sunscreen – what was that?)
Riding my bike. Hiking down trails. Playing at the park. Skipping in the school playground. And oh, our front porch – I spent hours sitting there, chatting with my neighbours and friends. We were only inspired to come inside after one (or four) reminders from our parents, and even then, it was difficult to simply open the screen door and leave the outdoors behind.
My boys, although bona fide nature lovers, have a decidedly different connection to the outdoors.
Sure, they love to be outside, and the neighbourhood park ranks high on their list of favourite places. But they also love to watch the television, and videos on the tablet. And they adore video games, especially the handheld variety. And Reid, at only 5-years old, is content to plug into his iPod with child-appropriate headphones, cancelling out the world around him. With technology at their fingertips, it’s easy to forget about what’s important, like being outside and enjoying nature. In fact, with each passing generation, children seem to be playing less and less outside.
We are now at a tipping point where our connection to nature could be lost for good.
Watch this incredible video from Nature Valley, and tell me if it doesn’t strike a chord with you.
The contrast between grandpa and grandkids is, as one mom put it, is “very concerning.” What if the next generation loses its connection to nature? I’ve already witnessed the alarming differences from my generation to my boys’. It’s practically impossible for them to get through the day without plugging in, and as I type this blog post, I realize that as their parent, I am responsible for making the change.
Let’s work together to rediscover the joy of nature as a family and a community.
First, seize the summer! Participate in the Nature Valley #RediscoverNature Summer Bucket List Challenge. It’s simple:
Step 1 – Watch the above video with your kids. How closely do you identify with the families?
Step 2 – Create a summer activity bucket list focusing on outdoor activities that your kids enjoy.
Step 3 – Post your Rediscover Nature Summer Bucket List on the fridge so it’s always in sight.
Step 4 – Have your kids check the adventures off the list!
Step 5 – Share photos of these activities featuring the #RediscoverNature hashtag.
Need some inspiration? Here’s our list!
YOUR TURN! Download your #RediscoverNature Summer Bucket List.
We’re so looking forward to crossing all the items off our list. First up: Niagara Falls! The boys are at an age where they can appreciate this wonder of the world, and I can’t think of a better connection to nature than feeling the cool mist of the falls on a hot summer day. I have so many fond memories of visiting Niagara Falls throughout my lifetime – I can’t wait to create new ones with my family.