With the NHS prescribing fresh air to boost patients’ health and wellbeing in 2019, there is no doubt that there is a strong connection between green space and good mental and physical health. As we are confined to our homes, with schools and activity clubs closed, here are five ways to take home learning outside. These activities can be adapted to any setting; from local parks to your own garden, or even your house if you are in quarantine. So, open the windows, step outside, and appreciate the natural world all around you.
Go on a Colour walk
Tune into your surroundings by looking for a specific colour on your next walk. Much research supports the notion that colour can have an affect on our emotions. Stand in a field of bright yellow sunflowers and it’s hard to feel anything but happy. Look at the turquoise blue of the ocean and calmness floods through your bones. So, choose how you want to feel each day and surround yourself with a colour that stimulates this emotion. As you are getting dressed, look for an item of clothing that matches your chosen colour then get out and go colour spotting! How many yellow/ red/ green (have fun with that one) things can you see along your walk? You could choose a different colour each and see who spots the most of their colour, or you could team up and work on embracing one emotion as a family. Reflect on how you feel at the end of the walk… does yellow really make you happy?
Go on an Emoji hunt
If you are like me, emoji’s have become part of your daily life. Whether you are happy, mad, eating cake or just think you deserve a medal today, there’s an emoji ready to depict your day. So choose some of your favourite emojis and look for them in real life, finding them in their natural environment. You can theme your walk (obviously we recommend a nature theme, like ours) to focus on a specific topic such as; buildings, transport, foods, or even emotions if you are feeling creative.
Want to extend the fun? Take some paper and map your journey using emojis and keep it as a little memento of your adventure.
Go on a Barefoot walk
Feeling adventurous? Be daring, break the norms, and get the bath ready. Think back to the last time you walked barefoot outside; maybe you were padding across a warm sandy beach towards the ocean, or maybe you slipped off your sandals during a picnic and felt the cool grass tickle your toes. Your poor feet spend so much of the day, jammed inside of your shoes, with a solitary job of getting your body from one place to another. But your feet are a very sensitive part of the body. Containing around 8,000 nerve endings, they are highly receptive to touch explaining why so many of us have ticklish feet. So, take off your shoes and socks and feel the fresh air between your toes. How many different textures can your feel under your feet as you move around? Move slowly, try tiptoeing or gently brushing the soles of your feet lightly across a surface. Note how the feeling changes as you move differently. Make your own barefoot scavenger hunt or use ours above.
Follow this map
No matter how old you are or where you are in the world, you can follow this map. It is universal, transferable and pretty ambiguous by design! Choose your starting point, choose your distance, and have fun seeing where the map will take you. Once you’ve had a go at following this map, try making your own, adding rests and challenges to do along the way. Our map was adapted from ‘Surprise Yourself’ a book of fun adventures written by Lisa Curie.
Before we had paper and mark making tools, explorers marked their paths using objects they found along their way. Release your inner caveman and make some trails for your family to follow. Look closely for materials that are available in your location, remembering to only take objects from the ground that can be put back at the end of your adventure. You can arrange stones on the ground to point which way to go next or create a big X with sticks to ensure that nobody goes off track. Add a little extra motivation by leaving a little prize at the end of your trail.
So there you have it, five ways to turn your next walk into an adventure. Have fun getting outdoors in whichever capacity you can at the moment.