Setting the Intention to Get Outside


My children spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s a natural part of their daily rhythm. I’m lucky that we have a big backyard so I only need to open the door and they’re off. I, on the other hand, tend to linger indoors a little too often. There are always so many things to do and never enough time. So I really have to set aside an intentional part of my own day to get outside and connect with Nature.

Our family treats outside time as an important investment in our mental, emotional and physical health. We are also deeply aware of the sense of interconnectedness it fosters between us, the earth and the seasons.

Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.

David Suzuki

We chose to move from a very urban life to a more rural setting because wanted space to roam around at home, to raise our own animals for milk, eggs and meat and to plant a big vegetable garden.

It has been an unbelievable blessing BUT we aren’t really spending that much more time outdoors.

Even when we lived in the city we made it a huge priority to get outside everyday – in our backyard, on weekly bushwalks or caring for our tiny container garden.

Ideas to help Model our Connection with Nature

  • Choose a time at least once a week when you will all head outside for some time together- rain or shine! Mark it in your calendar and commit to it.
  • Set the intention to slow right down when you’re outside enjoying Nature together
  • Leave distracting screens in your pockets, bags or in the car – if you want to document your time together consider bringing a camera other than the one on your phone
  • Choose a quiet spot- removed from cars and busy streets
  • Don’t rush or focus on an end goal or destination, instead explore, discover and allow freedom of direction and movement
  • Don’t complain of less-than-perfect weather conditions – these negative feelings are not necessarily shared by children
  • Look down low and study tiny insects
  • Admire the colours and patterns on beautiful leaves 
  • Smell flowers, taste snow, dance in the rain
  • Create wreaths, bouquets or small natural offerings for the fairies or animals 
  • Build a fire from time to time if you have the opportunity to – find special sticks and “offer” them to the fire while making a wish or setting intentions
  • Visit community gardens or farms, orchards or pick-you-own vegetable patches where you can connect with the food that is served on your table
  • Learn some seasonal blessings to say at the table before each meal

Do you make time to get outside with your little ones often? Where do you go and what do you do?

Meagan Wilson is a parent educator and author of the now-retired seasonal series of Whole Family Rhythms. After finishing a BA, she went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College, as well as her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has received her certification as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach and has supported hundreds of parents to create a strong family rhythm unique to their own values and culture. She has four young children. Meagan provides resources, support and information to parents who are looking for a bridge to cross between their unique family life and their children’s (often but not always) Waldorf schools.

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