Are our kids outside enjoying nature these Summer school holidays?

Nature play with children for health

The NZ Herald published an article recently that has stayed with me and challenges my thinking. It was written following a conference that Richard Louv spoke at, a renouned advocate for the health benefits of getting children out in nature. Louv notes that regular time in nature can relieve symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, depression, stress and memory loss. It also has the benefit of encouraging creativity, acceptance and safe risk taking. Although we have beautiful and amazing nature right on our doorstep, I know my family struggles with time restraints and pressure from the kids for screen time. Read the full article here.

For us, the school holidays provide a respite from the daily schedules and a fantastic opportunity for the kids to play outdoors. With the long Summer holidays here, here are some great ideas for activities in nature:

  • Walk or cycle the rotary track or Hawke's Bay trails
  • Swim and wander at Ocean Beach
  • Outdoor dip at Ocean Spa
  • Build a fire (if allowed) on the beach and toast marshmallows
  • Go fishing off Ahuriri
  • Sailing on Pandora pond
  • Walk around the nature trail at Pandora pond
  • Skate at Sk8 Zone
  • Go camping (if you're keen, there's a number of DOC campsites around Hawkes Bay)
  • Discover the story of the first ever dinosaur footprints to be discovered in New Zealand at the National Aquarium

I'm sure you've got your own favourites, we'd love to hear them. Please leave a comment below so we can all share.

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