The benefits of nature are not to be underestimated. In the age of technology, it is now more important than ever to keep nature a main focus within your parenting. From the moment we found out we were pregnant the first time, we knew we would be raising a nature baby. Not just because we already had an ‘outdoorsy’ life, but because of the many other benefits that come with raising a wild child!
There are few teachers than can compare to mother nature herself. Whilst, as parents, we help our children along their paths, mother nature challenges them in ways we never could.
At less than a year old, Aria was just learning to walk, and it was through our regular walks that she learnt to navigate the roots, bumps and uneven terrains of our wonderful planet. She learnt stability and developed a strong affinity for the world around her.
Not only does time in nature aid physical development, but it is also critical for mental development. By just spending time outside, your children will learn to be one with the Earth, to describe the wonders that they see and learn the language of mother nature, skills that have sadly been lost to many in this modern age.
The sheer volume of lessons our girls have learnt in their short time on this Earth truly stands testament to just how much mother nature has to offer. I am confident that they would not be as skilled or adept as they are without our precious time outdoors. Our girls are truly wild children, raised by nature as much as they are raised by us and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Increasing Environmental Awareness
It is no secret that the world is in crisis. Humanity has forgotten how to live in harmony with nature and the Earth is suffering as a result. You need only to look out of your own windows to see the changes in climate or look to environmental news to see the awful impacts on nature around the world. This is one of the main reasons why we are raising nature babies.
Obviously, no small change is going to rectify the damage done, but if we can raise our family to live in a more eco-friendly way and to appreciate nature for all she offers, then even the small changes we make contribute towards a much larger global effort.
Through exploring nature, our girls have developed a compassion and unique bond with nature. They see nature as their home and care for it’s inhabitants as much as they care for each other. Plants are not simply decoration to be used and trodden on, they are beings in their own right to be respected and admired. All wildlife is to be treasured, no matter how small, and every living thing has an important role in the web of life. These are the lessons our girls learn in nature.
We hope that as they grow, this passion for the Earth will grow with them, that they will develop into people who always consider the impact on the Earth and who run wild with the tune of nature in their hearts.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of raising nature babies, is the memories we get to build together as a family. Memories of all the places we explore together. Watching the girls firsts out in the world. Seeing the wonder in their faces as they discover something completely new. Nothing compares to the memories we have made as a family in the last two years.
There are of course countless other places we want to visit with our family, but even through exploring the local area we have discovered so much. The girls have just started life and yet already they have an abundance of happy memories out exploring nature.
What can be better than making special memories that don’t have to cost a fortune? Yes, you can go on lots of expensive holidays and make special memories too. However, there is something to be said for the simple memories made by just walking in the park or local woodland together. Memories made when you are just ‘being’.
These memories made together out in nature will forever be our fondest memories and ones that we treasure for a lifetime.
Making the choice to home educate our girls was a no brainer for us as a family. However, at the time, we had no idea just how many life skills the girls would learn by simply being out in nature.
I had, and still do have, wonderful plans of ‘lessons’ based around nature and using as many resources provided by mother nature as we can. However, even after these two short years, I have learnt just how many skills can be attained through experience alone.
Our home-ed preschool has always been nature focused, but over the last year this has developed into our primary way of learning. We have adopted more of an ‘unschooling’ approach with our girls learning as they experience different things in nature.
I have honestly been astounded at home much they learn simply through interacting with natural world around them. Our girls know how to plant seeds, water plants, how to avoid certain plants and eat others. Nature has taught them how to observe, built up their endurance and how to simply enjoy the little things in life. They have also learnt how to assess danger and take risks through climbing trees, navigating uneven terrain and interacting with new objects. The confidence they demonstrate in the natural world is astounding and truly wonderful to watch.
Our nature babies are gathering all of the basic skills they will need to thrive in a nature based environment. As they grow older, I have no doubt these skills will become more advanced as they learn to identify species, cultivate crops, navigate forests and become more self-sufficient.
These are skills that, otherwise, may have been forgotten and left out in conventional upbringing. These are skills that are only acquired through interaction with nature. Obviously, each family is unique and will develop their own skill sets according to their lifestyle. But, for us, raising nature babies is as instinctual as taking a breath.
Along side the many benefits of nature, raising nature babies means they are rarely stuck inside. Time outside is essential to this way of life and there is rarely a day spent solely indoors. Obviously, there are times where life throws a curveball or the weather is simply too dire to venture outside, but these are few and far between and even on rainy days there are a million different ways to get outside.
Whilst there are numerous benefits to this approach, one of the most important is that your child has a balanced education. Too often in conventional education, children are confined to the indoors. They spend hours in front of desks or books and rarely get to interact with the natural world around them. Even most pre-schools are held indoors with limited access to a garden and any nature based activities take place within the confines of an indoor space, unless you are lucky enough to attend a forest school.
By raising nature babies, we place more importance on time outside. It takes precedence over anything else even in bad weather or if only for a short amount of time a day, outside time is crucial. This in turn leads to a more balanced education.
Obviously, time indoors is important for allowing certain types of play, such as reading, imaginative role play with toys. However, I can certainly say that our girls are much happier when they have spent time outside to expel energy, get grounded and just have time in nature. Without this time they get frustrated, irritable, and like caged lions… Being nature babies allows them to stay grounded and have the balance they so desperately need.