Do you remember the feeling you had as kid lying on the ground in a field watching the clouds roll by? Or that sense of wonder you felt when you saw a wild animal in your backyard?  Or the exhilaration that came when you visited your first national park with eyes wide open?

 

These are moments that can lift the human spirit. They are memories forged in time that connect us to something bigger than ourselves. We can remember these defining childhood experiences in nature with reverence and appreciation.

 

But what if we, as children, never had those experiences? Sadly, that is the reality for many modern children. With more and more kids spending their days indoors, in front of screens and with schedules jam-packed full of academic pursuits, we are seeing a generation being raised disconnected and disenchanted.

 

There is magic, delight, and fascination in the natural world. And kids need these things to thrive! Here are 4 ways that nature can lift a child’s spirit:

 

1. Inspiration

 

Spending ample free time out in nature is a brilliant springboard for creativity and imagination. The countless hours spent exploring streams and trails gives children the freedom to find what excites and entices them. That inspiration is the path to a child’s life purpose. Within a forest or field children can truly connect to who they were meant to be.

 

2. Awe

 

Envision the look of awe on a child’s face. That innocent astonishment that can be reflected in a setting sun, a skipping stone, or a slithering snake. The rawness of nature magnified in the mind of a child makes children pause, reflect, and aspire to understand more. Nature lets children be curious, and answers their unending questions in their pursuit of deep truths.

 

3. Wonder

 

Amazement can come with ripples of water and a warm spring breeze. A child’s senses are fired up with the limitless offerings of the natural world. That kind of sweeping stimulation can lift a child’s spirit to meet the world around them with unbridled enthusiasm and joy. As children wander from one upturned leaf to the next their wonder in the world at large becomes unparalleled.

 

4. Hope

 

Give a child hope, and anything is possible. Hope that a tree will grow from an acorn, that a garden will bring bounty, that a dream will reach fruition. These are the musings of children. And time spent in nature gives children a chance to believe in themselves, their abilities, and their place in this big wide world.

 

Nature lends itself well to the brimming enchantment of a child. And within that world a child can create mountains, build canyons, and make the impossible, possible. Let’s help brighten the spirit of the next generation. For our children’s sake, let’s go ahead and open the door, let them touch the earth, and lift their spirits high.

 

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