I spent this Saturday at an instructor course with The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) on their program “Natursnokarna”. SSNC is a charitable environmental organisation that works with all different aspects of environmental issues, from teaching kids to appreciate nature to putting pressure on politicians.
The “Natursnokarna” program is one part of their work and the aim is to get more kids out in nature to explore. There are plenty of these programs in Sweden by different organisations (and probably everywhere else too), but this one has another twist to it, that makes it fit my life philosophy so perfectly.
This is not an activity where you leave your kid for an hour or two, while you go loose yourself in social media or work out at the gym. Natursnokarna gets the whole family out, and brings them together.
Why I believe exploring with kids is so important
There are so many parents out there who doesn’t seem to enjoy the company of their own children. Sad, but true. And I am not saying that spending too much time with a two year old can’t be frustrating, because it can. What I am saying is that I think many parents don’t put enough effort into getting to know their kids. You can live your whole life with someone, knowing their exact routines, their “personality”, their positive and negative personality traits – but still not know the person at all. And that’s what I am taking about.
Getting to know your kids and making memories
Going out exploring with the whole family is a perfect way to get to know your kids a little better. Let them lead the way and explore what they see. Most importantly – listen to what they say. Hear their thoughts, let them tell you what they see and why. Often we are so focused on teaching them what’s right that we just tell them the answer to the question, without first listening to them. When you have followed them for awhile, switch and let them explore with you.
The activities with Natursnokarna are easy, simple and fun.
It’s all about spreading the joy of exploring and encouraging the enthusiasm for nature. The vision is that all kids, and adults, should feel at home out in nature. This is done by exploring and getting to know the animals and plants that are out there. Once you know what the ants underneath you are doing, what type of moss you’re sitting on, what trees you’re looking at and how to make a fire in a safe way so that you can cook your lunch – you feel more at home.
Kids attending the activities need to have an adult with them – mom, dad, aunt or grandpa doesn’t matter. The key is to explore together. There are plenty of games involved and when we did them all this weekend to learn how they are done, we had so much fun we had to lay down on the ground because we laughed so hard. And we were all adults.
Playing is not only good for your kids, is also good for you.
I have said it before, but playing and acting like a kid once in awhile is the best way to relief stress and be happy. Haven’t been out exploring for some time? Well get out there!
Katarina on a lunchbreak in the beautiful environment.
Learning how to make fire in an old fashion way
Rhubarb. Summer delight.
Fried apples with sugar, a hint of cinnamon and some orange juice. Probably one of the easiest and most tasty snacks I have tried!