When you think of your childhood, the likelihood is that some of your best memories have taken place in the great outdoors. Some recall memories of taking long hikes with their parents, camping, or the first time they took a trip to a national park. With the evolution of technology, 2018 is a different time from when we were kids - time is often spent watching YouTube or catching up on emails rather than experiencing what the world has to offer. The Simple As That Blog served up an ample reminder this month of how important it is to put the smartphone down and take your family outdoors.
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"My early memories of spending time with my family outdoors, whether it was building forts with my siblings in the backyard or filling my pockets with rocks as we hiked, have become a pillar of my parenting," wrote Rebecca, 37-year-old mama to four. "I learned of my size in comparison to the grandeur of nature. And I learned that there is no better place to develop lasting connection as a family than under the big blue sky. These are the lessons I want to fill my children's hearts with."
It might sound like an idealistic view of life - get outdoors and everything will be magically fine - but actually, getting out and about can do wondrous things for your health and the health of your kids. A recent study found that going for a simple walk can have an uplifting effect on your mood for up to 7 hours, while some therapists actively encourage "ecotherapy" to help long term mental health issues like anxiety. As for your children, helping them experience the great outdoors can reduce ADHD symptoms and have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their social and behavioral skills. Let's not forget the most important part - there's nothing better than going outside, cuddling around the campfire, and toasting marshmallows. You can't lose.
With winter officially over and spring turning to summer, there are 58 national parks in the US if you're looking for a big adventure, but don't forget - there's nothing quite like your own back yard either! What do you have planned for the summer? Let us know in the comments!