New data suggests that spending time with children outdoors might help them be more communicative. “Nature restores people’s ability to pay attention to conversations and reduces their mental fatigue,” says Dina Izenstark, associate professor of child and adolescent development at San Jose University. “This can help family members communicate more effectively and get along better with one another.”
There are some simple ways to get conversations going when you are out in nature, also to have some comfortable silence as you are exploring. And for the grownups an extra win, there are places to say "I don't know" and then get to find out together, and build on the conversations.
You can take pictures, you can collect items, you can play "road trip games" looking for a specific color, you can talk about the change of the seasons, you might even see animals and get to observe some antics.
You can ask questions, like wow look at all those beautiful flowers/leaves/trees, which one is your favorite? An opening like that will often allow a child to answer, and then continue on telling your a story that in their mind is connected to that question. And yes it can be the same child that just told you yesterday, with a shrug, that there was nothing to tell about how that day went.
Remember too looking up at the clouds, and seeing them way up high. Do they look like shapes? Are they moving, spread out thin? Can you tell if rain is coming?
Here is a resource page from National Geographic about watching birds, yes even off your balcony or from your backyard and in nature too.
One more reminder, grounding by getting our feet (or at least our hands while we are sitting down) on the grass is a great healthy part of your day. Simple and free too.
Safe and happy travels!
Have you checked out Over The Bay Pre-K yet? It's a virtual Pre-K Classroom and it's affordable too!
We know the key to success starts way before school, and Pre-K to the end of Third Grade is the significant foundation for learning success.
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