How to Stay Connected to Nature During Lockdown

We may have all been asked to stay at home for however many weeks, but there are still ways to connect with nature during this challenging time.  With much of life put on hold, there is one thing we can turn to to get us through: connecting with nature.

For all of us a daily dose of nature, some natural vitamin D from the sun, and some fresh air is essential, but perhaps more so for children who are used to being active and outdoors.  Your garden is great, of course, but if you have less than an acre they will probably need more space and the opportunity to get out into bigger spaces each day.

Here's how social distancing can bring your family closer to nature:

Take a daily walk

The very best way to keep your family mentally and physically healthy is by spending time outside in nature every day.  We highly recommend a daily nature walk to discover new flowers, plants and insects.  It's the perfect opportunity to observe all those beautiful signs of spring (or autumn in the Southern Hemisphere).

Here's how to plan a nature walk for kids

In the UK, as long as you do not have symptoms or have recently been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or is exhibiting symptoms, you can still go out for a walk each day.  Just stay 2 metres away from others and only associate directly with those who live in the same home as you.

The government recognises the value of daily outdoor exercise for our mental and physical health, as long as you are still well enough to do so.  This is particularly important after the winter we have had being cooped up indoors with endless rain, so make the most of it!

Even if you are self isolating because you are over 70, have an underlying health condition, are classed as vulnerable or are pregnant, you can still get out in nature each day.  Simply choose to go to places that are quieter, or go early in the morning.  My 73 year old aunt is out at 5am every morning.

With no surfaces to touch, no crowding, fresh air, loads of Vitamin D and a calming boost for our mental health, time spent in nature each day is vital.  Try to choose spots that won't be teeming with other people, but remember to take your walk directly from your door and not to drive somewhere away form home to walk.

Make your next nature walk an adventure with this free outdoor scavenger hunt printable.

Play Outside

Let children play outdoors as much as possible.  You can set up activities, but far better to give them space and inspiration for imaginative play outdoors.

You could even teach your child how to garden by planting some seeds and tending a small plot during this time.

Check out our list of the best toys for your garden this summer too.

Bird Watching

Even the youngest children can sit quietly to watch birds outside the window.  Have them make a simple kids bird feeder and see who comes to visit.

Here are more ideas on how to attract wildlife to your garden.

And don't forget to plant a garden for pollinators like bees and butterflies too.

You could even head out early in the morning for your daily walk and do a spot of bird watching while you're out.  A great new activity and skill to learn during social distancing.

The Night Sky

Whether it's from your own backyard or a local spot, there will be fewer people out at night, making it easier to spot nocturnal animals like bats and to see the stars.  Perfect for science studies right now!

At the moment both noise and light pollution are reduced making it easier to see the night sky, so it's an ideal time to introduce children to the stars and planets.  Children will love being allowed to go out at night, so grab some blankets and do some stargazing.

A moonlit walk is a great way to spend time together as a family so maybe go once a week and observe the moon waxing and waning.

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