9 Ways to Unplug & Enjoy Nature This Spring

9 Ways to Unplug & Enjoy Nature This Spring

Article By: Dr. Evangelynn Honegger

Dr. Evangelynn Honegger is the Lead Clinic Physician at TRUEcare Integrative Medicine, an integrative naturopathic family medicine, acupuncture, and functional nutrition practice in Kirkland, WA.

We made it! Daylight savings is behind us, and we're moving towards longer and brighter days! It’s a great time for educators, parents, and children to get outside and commit to regular outdoor time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages outdoor play as being critical to childhood development — it’s vital for health and emotional development at all ages from toddlers to teens. It can be tricky sometimes to make nature sound fun and appealing, especially if playing sports isn't your kiddo's jam, and even more challenging when competing with screen time and friend time.

Understand the benefits of spending time outdoors.

  • Vitamin D & sunshine
  • Creativity
  • Socialization
  • Independence
  • Family time
  • Mental health & confidence
  • Appreciation of nature & conservation

Here are some tips for parents to connect kids to the outdoors in a positive way:

1) Exercise the senses every day.

Challenge kids at any age to find presence out in nature. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel around you? What do you taste? Taste can be a fun sense to explore with berry foraging in the summertime!

2) Aim for distraction-free adventures.

Challenge your family to leave the technology behind. Be a role model, and try to avoid taking extra calls or sending extra texts. Maybe capture the moment with a photo here or there to enjoy later. Immerse yourself with all your senses in the sounds, smells, and sunshine!

3) Encourage unstructured play.

Let kids use their creativity and sensory play by getting dirty outside, exploring under small logs, examining tide pools, and collecting treasures. Take Legos outside and stage them in epic nature scenes. The only rule... Have fun!

4) Join your kids outside.

Lead by example. Children pick up the habits of their parents and caretakers. Take kids and a friend to a nearby state park, find some favorite lawn games, and invite friends over for fort building outside. Enjoy throwing the frisbee or hosting a cornhole competition. Create a nature calendar with activities to look forward to! Find a new outdoor hobby that encourages movement together.

5) Move routine activities outdoors.


When you want to encourage more time outside, think of any possible day-to-day activities you can move outside as a family — eating lunch out on the deck, strolling for 30 minutes as a family after dinner or after school, cozy reading in a nook outside, enjoying a meal outside on a nice day, playing outdoor board games, etc. For older kids, making outdoor yard chores fun can bring a sense of accomplishment too.

6) Pack nature fuel.

Hangry adventures do not make for fun adventures! Make sure you are always packing extra blood sugar balancing to-go snacks to fuel your adventures whether they take you to a trail, state park, or even just your backyard! A well-fueled adventurer is a less hangry one!

7) Check community activities.

Parks and recreation organizations, outdoor camps, and teaching farms encourage learning and new skills outside of a suburban or city environment. These organizations promote a connection with nature, gardening, and simply trying new skills to create awareness about regenerative community practices.

8) Encourage movement in nature.

Some kids love team sports, while for others, it may not be their jam. Leisure sports can be more fun for kids who don’t love competitive organized sports, and they usually come with less pressure and create fun and encouraging ways to get outside. Kids who don’t enjoy team sports don’t need to be less active as they find alternative ways to get out and make friends with nature and get their explore-mode on.

9) Nip allergies in the bud.

While we often cannot rule-out seasonal allergies altogether, there are supportive ways to help kiddos prepare for that extra allergen load and immune system activation during this season. As spring blooms and allergens come into full swing, it can be hard to distinguish if those sniffles are fighting off a cold or allergies taking hold.

What are some of the key differences?

Cold symptoms can include fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and fever while allergies often include skin rashes, itchy eyes, scratchy throats, and wheezing. Colds typically resolve in about a week while allergy symptoms stay present so long as there is a trigger. Any season change can be prime time for allergies! Whether it’s navigating a cold or allergies, both benefit from giving an extra boost to your immune system and additional allergen support for prevention. Now is the time to boost-up your body’s defenses.

Allergies are a result of our immune system being out of balance. Did you know Renzo's has an Allergy Relief Bundle with everything a kiddo's immune system needs to win the fight against pesky seasonal allergies? Boosting immune support with the proper vitamins/minerals is key to supporting the body naturally to help it better respond to environmental allergens. Fortunately, a little extra immune support can help dampen this unwanted immune response and lessen the severity of allergies so many of us dread this time of year and help our kids thrive and enjoy the beauty of any season!

Speak to your healthcare provider for the best strategies and supplement dosages for your child’s specific needs.

Renzo's Vitamins provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice.

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