Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Outside, Good For Everyone

One of my person favorite things to do during the spring with my kids is to get outside and go on a walk. Using the sunny days to renew my energy and fill me with warmth as well as getting my kids some much needed time to burn off steam after strings of rainy days.

There are many benefits to getting outside other than just a chance to see the beauty of the day and get my kids tucker out. A few benefits may include getting vitamin D needed for keeping us healthy and happy, it helps with absorption of calcium, keeps our brain working, helps keep our mood up, may help prevent cancer, and more. Although you can get Vitamin D from food sources why not get it from outside where it naturally and directly comes into our bodies? Also recent research has shown that getting out in nature for 20 minutes may help decrease attention and behavior problems as much as medical treatments. (Do not take my word for this. Please research it on your own if you are suffering from any problems that require medications.)

There are also numerous learning opportunities for little curious minds when you are outside. You can stop and listen for changing sounds, look for movement caused by animals or wind, talk about the ecosystem and how each part works with every other part. Talk about similarities between the things you see and differences as well. How are plants and animals the same, what is different about the insect you just saw and the worm?

One place I have really enjoyed taking the kids (so you can go if you live near by) is a national wildlife refuge called Steigerwald Lake. This is a great easy walk with lots to see and provides a very different ecological system from the forest lake near where we live.

I highly recommend checking it out they have made if very kid friendly with little statues around the walk for added interest. Or if you do not live near by try to find a Wildlife Refuge near you.

You can sort of see Mt. Hood in the distance there.

Don't forget snack time.

Looking and the salamander statue

You may not get very far during your walk, but that is not really the point right? In a previous post I talked about doing a scavenger hunt and that is a great activity to take on a walk like this. Have fun, sunny days are coming more and more as summer draws near (yeah).

There are a few more photographs from this day at my photography blog,

What is your favorite walk around your area?

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