Nature is around us all the time, but how often do we take advantage of all the beauty it has to offer? It’s summertime and the sun is shining brighter, making the days a little bit warmer and longer so whether it’s time on the playground, a stroll around the neighborhood or a hike in your favorite national park, here are a few tips for enjoying the great outdoors.
Throw some shade
Beach tent umbrellas are lightweight, pop-up beach cabanas that ensure protection from harmful sun rays. There are so many sizes and styles to choose from, so you can purchase one that includes an air mattress for relaxing at the beach or a summer concert in the park, and a smaller sportbrella for cheering on your little athletes from the side lines.
The higher the heat index and the more energy expelled, the greater the need for rehydration. Be sure to take lots of water with you whenever you’re enjoying the great outdoors. And remember sodas, sugary drinks and alcohol are all agents of dehydration, so you would do better to limit them or avoid them all together during your time outdoors. Beyond the typical benefits of drinking water, keep in mind that water plays an important role in creating the liquid component of blood called plasma. Plasma not only carries oxygen throughout the body, but also helps regulate body temperature.
Look, don't touch
The best way to enjoy nature’s creatures is with your eyes. Try not to disturb the animals and insects you find. But if you do move them, always place them back where you found them. It is never safe to handle wild animals, even baby animals. If you come across a distressed or injured animal or a baby animal that has fallen out of its nest, contact a park ranger or your local county’s animal service.
Get in some real playtime
Enjoy some outdoor games. To me the best thing about outdoor games is how low-to-no tech they are. Got some stick lying around? Tie different colored string around them and drop them into a river or lake for a river race. Any game has tag, duck, goose, hop, jump, ball or water in the title is sure to bring hours of fun for the whole family.
Take a closer look
Want to see what you're really missing? Submerge a clean container into the sea, pond or river and fill it up. With a magnifying glass, you can look and see just how many different creatures and plants you have caught. Remember to return it all back when you’re done exploring though.
Craft something to remember your outdoor adventures
Create a centerpiece for your dining room. Collect some shells, stones, rocks or whatever inspires you in nature. Arrange them in a bowl or on a plate. Take wild flowers and place them in a jar you’ve decorated with ribbon and place it with your arrangement.
Weather you're bird watching with binoculars, scouting for worms after a morning rain or accessorizing sand angels you've made at the beach, get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather while it last. And when summer is over, don't forget that winter, spring, summer or fall there's lots of fun to be had in nature by all!
Until next time, remember child development is human development