How to Use Nature to Connect with Your Grandkids

Today’s post is brought to you by my guest, author Susan Day.

Photo by Fay on Unsplash

Spending time with your grandchildren is one of the best things you can do for them, and for you too, for that matter.

Sure, kids love gifts and candy, and they get really excited about going to a theme park or spending time with their friends. However, there is a secret world which exists right outside the window and one which has a powerful allure. I’m referring to nature.

Nature offers an endless array of beauty and wonder, and for the most part it’s free and easy to access. Taking your grandchildren outdoors is a great way to build a strong connection with them. Just spending time and ‘being’ with children is important for their wellbeing.

Some children don’t get outdoors enough, and the simple act of wandering along the street, running at the park or tramping through the beach sand is an experience they are sadly missing out on.

Ignite a Sense of Curiosity

Research tells us that curious kids are intelligent kids. The more questions they ask, the more their minds grow and develop.

Nature has a bounty of things to be curious about. You could literally spend hours outside with your grandchildren exploring, and you don’t have to live near a forest or a beach to enjoy nature either. It’s in your yard, in your neighbor’s yard, at your local park, or any place a tree is growing and the birds are singing.

Do your grandkids know where bees go, and what they are doing buzzing around those flowers? Do they know why some birds migrate, and others live in the same area all their lives?

Point Out the Beauty in Small Objects

Each time your grandchildren come to visit, make a point of taking them outside and showing them something nature is doing. It might be new buds on the tree or the color autumn leaves are turning.

How many people rush through their busy days, not noticing subtle changes happening around them? Isn’t there something magnificent about the way birds take off or the way clouds move across the sky?

“Isn’t that interesting…” you might begin to say, and then point out an aspect of nature that is happening right under their very noses.

Look at a Leaf

What shape is it? Does it have any spots or spines? Compare it to another leaf from a plant that is growing close by. What things are similar? What are different? You could also begin a leaf scrap-book and share details of trees and shrubs that live in your area.

Analyse an Ant

Who doesn’t love bugs? Well, most adults don’t find them interesting, but kids love ’em! Bugs, beetles, aphids, and ants are like miniature dinosaurs or creatures from outer space living in our backyards. Without interfering with their busy lives, make a point of sharing these remarkable creatures with your grandchild.

Marvel at Moths

Moths, butterflies and dragonflies all go about their daily lives in nearly every place on earth, living in the most amazing ways.

Your grandchildren will love to learn about them. They will enjoy the wonder nature has to offer through your eyes, and come to a deeper understanding of how remarkable the world really is.

“I’d Rather Watch TV, Grandma!”

Nature has a way of going about its business whether we are watching or not, and all the while our televisions and devices are nagging us to watch and engage.

You may find your grandchildren are not used to examining nature in so much detail. They may not understand what you are getting at, but one thing is for sure: they won’t forget the time you have spent with them and how important nature was to you. It is a privilege to be able to see what nature is doing, and stand in awe of what it will do next.

What child doesn’t deserve to be introduced to all of this wondrous world?

No doubt your grandkids will grow and mature, and will find themselves stopping to admire a flower or cloud patterns. They will turn to a friend, their partner or even their own children, and share memories they have of you and how you introduced them to one of the most magnificent things on this planet – nature.

About Susan Day

Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. Discover here the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.

Susan lives in Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.

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Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to jennifer@jenniferkellandperry.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – Jennifer

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31 thoughts on “How to Use Nature to Connect with Your Grandkids

  1. Thank you Jennifer for posting this beautiful and somehow peaceful post by Susan Day.
    It is so full of fun and truths ( in my humble opinion) for ourselves as we grew for our children and all
    grands and great grands……
    So I couldn’t agree more with this concept. Sometimes a child might even be encouraged to share more
    nuggets of their wise thinking just because it is the right athmosphere.
    miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Being able to spend time with grandparents is such an important part of childhood. Decades later I still have memories of time spent with my grandmother. And much of that was outdoors, while she was tending her garden. (Though I’d bolt whenever I saw a garter snake…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Special memories indeed, Carrie – even the snake!
      Nothing to do with nature, but I remember my grandfather saying I was his favourite, and how Mom would chide him about it (not to play favourites because I had a sister and brother too). He gave me a little wooden rocking chair that now belongs to my granddaughter. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Andrea. I was saddened when I recently read a report that said some children find it difficult to walk on uneven ground because they spent their life walking on concrete paths. How sad is that? I remember stumbling and falling up and down sand dunes, and trying to run through a forest and not trip over. Those skills and the things I learned have helped me in life.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So nice to meet you Susan! I’m looking forward to taking my future grandchildren out on a nature trek. I’m hoping it will keep me young! You make great points about pointing out the small details in nature to kids and grandkids. While I wait for the grand babies to come along, I may just go out there myself! Great post, Jennifer – thanks for introducing Susan!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful suggestions by Susan and some I used with my son when he was little. Stones was his ‘thing’ and we could study them for hours, lining up according to various criteria, sorting into different boxes, arranging ‘museum’ displays with labels! I find younger children will absorb the natural world if encouraged…😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right, Annika. I loved stones as a child, and even today they fascinate me. It’s important to teach children to appreciate our wonderful world – a skill I’m sure they’ll be able to use later in life.

      Liked by 2 people

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