Re-wild your child
After a recent holiday trip to the beach I refocused my mind as to what I believe is important for my children and for my family. Our family relocated to the countryside 18 months ago after a moment of clarity that a childhood growing up in the city was not what I wanted for my children. I wanted them to have the opportunity to run wild. I wanted them to explore the fields and have space to play and enjoy the great outdoors. This is the childhood that I experienced and this was the best decision for our family.
We’re just back from camping in Cornwall and our 5 days of family time amongst nature has just reinforced my belief that a wild childhood is simply the best for children. To have the opportunity to play spontaneously, to discover new things and to enjoy the peace amongst nature I believe helps develop a strong connection and appreciation to oneself and the world that we live in.
Here’s 5 simple ways that you can get outdoors, connect with nature and re-wild your child.
1: Enjoy a sunrise as a family.
Set the clock for an early start and watch the sunrise. This will be an amazing experience and a family memory that your children and you will absolutely love. Head to a favourite spot, the top of a hill, a local beach and simply just sit and watch. Listen to the birds and their morning song and take it all in. You can even take breakfast, coffee and some hot chocolate too. Or if you have some rather grumpy teenagers why not plan a evening to watch the sunset instead.
2: Treasure Hunt.
Ask your children to find a collection of nature objects such as sticks, feathers, leaves, pine cones, stones, or petals and design a picture of their favourite animal with the objects. Help them to get creative and think about the different materials they can use for the legs, face, teeth and different parts of the body.
I’d love to see the designs so please take a photo of the finished picture and share on instagram by tagging @clairevictoriaphotography and #theeverydaybeautybristol .
3: Listen to the birds.
This is one of my favourites and I honestly believe this has so many benefits for everyone. Go to a field or into the woods and just stop, sit or stand still and just listen. I encourage my children and those that I work with to close their eyes and just be still and take in all the sounds that you can hear. Listen to where the sounds are coming from, the direction of the bird song and the different sounds and birdsong that you can hear. It is so important for the mind to be quiet and to absorb the calm sounds of nature and birds are so so beautiful to listen to.
My children have learnt so much from watching and listening to birdsong. It really does help to release tension, anger and to bring you in to the present moment and appreciate where you are and put things in to perspective. Children will love this time and really benefit from the calming experience.
4: Go camping.
It’s simple and it’s the best way to get back to basics. You can even just set up a tent in the garden. Some of my best summer holidays as a child were when I was allowed to camp out in the garden. It allows a little independence for your children and gives them a sense of adventure. I recommend disconnecting all wifi and internet too and saying no to screen time. Encourage your children to switch off from technology and play some ball games, watch the clouds, take in a sunset and toast some marshmallows on a campfire. The simple things in life are the best. This is another classic family memory that your children will love and appreciate.
5: Go on a nature photo walk.
Make the family walk extra fun for the children and give them a camera. Set a theme and ask them to capture objects that inspire them and catch their eye. The rule is not to snap away and take photos of everything but capture special items that really appeal to you. This is a great way to get the children taking notice of their environment and focusing the mind. It’s a fantastic way to encourage individuality, creativity and has a calming effect on the mind too. A theme can be anything from finding something ‘yellow’ to asking older children to look for ‘contrasting colours’.
Nature photo walks are now available for 8 years and up. Learn, connect and create on a photography workshop.
I am a family photographer specialising in nature connection for families to reconnect the wild side of our personalities and enjoy the great outdoors.
If you’d like to find out more information about a family photography experience amongst nature, how to “re-wild your child” and how I can capture the true personalities of your family on camera get in touch.
I am a specialist at capturing the imperfect family having good old fashioned family fun in the wild. I’d love to meet you and your family.