Outdoors

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There are so many benefits to being outdoors it’s hard to contain it into one small post. We know the health benefits of getting our Vitamin D by soaking up the sun’s rays. We often can feel the mental rewards by a change in our attitude once we have breathed in some fresh air. I know when I”m feeling overwhelmed by my day, a nice walk outside does me a world of good. It can do the same for our children.

I saw a lovely little video on my facebook feed this morning that discusses benefits of getting outside and hiking. One fact that was new to me, was the benefit of improved creativity and problem solving skills. I think we could all benefit from that, and it wasn’t a small increase either. We are talking a 50% increase in their problem solving abilities. That’s amazing! Being outdoors changes your brain in positive ways.

“Never be indoors when you can rightly be without.”-Charlotte Mason 
Charlotte Mason encourages 4-6 hours a day of outdoor time for the youngest of learners. While we don’t meet that mark on a daily basis, I do agree that this allows children to have a quiet growing time. Often technology takes over our lives much too easily. While I think technology provides so many benefits, it is hard to escape from it. I often feel frustrated just trying to eat a meal at a restaurant without several TV’s blaring across the room.  I love to pack up a simple lunch and eat it at the park.
Our family has bonded a great deal this last year over trying our hand with kayaking and paddle boarding. We have all learned patience, persistence and balance in the process. We have laughed and have found a great peace at being out on the lake with the stillness of the water. We have also enjoyed outdoor adventures at many of the State Parks  when we go camping. Some of our favorites have been Fall Creek Falls, Interstate Breaks Park and Santee State Park.
Being outdoors provides endless opportunities for learning. We can observe wildlife and the clouds passing the sky. This often slows us down a bit and gives us time for reflection. This can be really beneficial for impulsive children and helps us become more attentive. Being outside wards off depression and can help us have a positive mental outlook. I love how spending time outdoors, camping or hiking, helps me reconnect with myself. I feel more at peace and relaxed, and can be a more patient person as a result.
We bought some started plants for our garden yesterday. So off I go to plant some herbs with the kids and spend some time outdoors. What do you like to do outdoors? What benefits has it brought your family?

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Babywearing Post Round Up from Natural Parents Network

I am proud and honored to be a volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired. When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more! Today I would like to share some bookmark-worthy posts that highlight all aspects of babywearing. These posts were featured on the personal blogs of the Natural Parents Network volunteers and are some of my favorites. We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!

Benefits of Babywearing/Reasons To Babywear

Types of Carriers/ Choosing A Carrier

Babywearing Safety

Babywearing How-Tos

BabywearingToddlers/More Than One Child

Personal Babywearing Stories and/or Photos

Babywearing Series/Multiple Topics

Babywearing – Other Interesting Topics

A special thank you to Erika Hastings of the blog Mud Spice for creating and sharing her babywearing art with the world!