15 Summer Activities to Help Your Kids Appreciate Nature

I know summer is soon coming to a close but there's still time to squeeze in some more fun. Check out the guest post today to learn more:

What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you're lucky the ocean. As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you've not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it's up to you as parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it's on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature. This is what it looks like:

15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there's plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

Bio: An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure. Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

Breastfeeding: It Takes A Village

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week! If you've been around my blog for awhile you'll know that I'm a big proponent of breastfeeding. All this week I'll have different breastfeeding themed posts and giveaways. Be sure to check back in! Today you'll be hearing from Jenny from Mom Loves Best:

One of my favorite weeks of the year is finally here, 10 points if you guessed it, World Breastfeeding Week! This year's awareness week is happening from August 1-7 and is dedicated to "working together for the common good."

It's amazing to think that since the beginning of time humans have literally survived on breast milk. But, babies aren't the only ones who get benefits from liquid gold. To celebrate this prestigious occasion, I wanted to see just how many benefits of breastfeeding I could find. The results were shocking. Over one hundred and eleven scientifically proven reasons for mothers to choose the breast, not only for their babies but themselves and those around them too. If you would like to learn more about these benefits, then keep reading below.

More Milk Please

No doubt about it that babies love breast milk. Breast milk helped my babies to sleep well and get the rest they needed. I could never resist snuggling with my babies after they finished nursing and had that milk-drunk face. And as you may already know, breast milk has some pretty incredible health benefits for babies. Such as lower risks of respiratory infections, meningitis, Chron's diseases, allergies, cancers, weak immune systems and even sudden infant death syndrome.

Babies Protect Their Mamas

Cancer is one scary six letter word. When I found out breastfeeding could protect me from breast, uterine, endometrial, ovarian, thyroid and esophagus cancer; I was ready to breastfeed forever! But seriously, how cool is it that breastfeeding protects you just as much as it protects your baby? Plus, because I breastfed I was able to fit back into my old clothes much quicker after having my baby. Who would complain about dropping that extra pregnancy weight? Not me.

Bootstrapping Your Baby

Everyone knows having a baby is expensive, no secret there. But breastfeeding can help you save money, between $800-$3000 within the first year to be exact. And that's just when you take the cost of formula into consideration. Breastfed babies and their mothers tend to be sick less often, take less sick days and even have higher workplace productivity. That means less medical bills, lower insurance premiums and simply put - more moolah.

Working Together For the Common Good

Did you know that the UNICEF estimates up to 1,300,000 lives a year could be saved from increased rates of breastfeeding? But the truth is, when you first start, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I know when I got started with my first child, it was tough! Thankfully, I had a network of great friends and a lactation consultant that prevented me from throwing in the towel and giving up. Without them, I would have never succeeded.

This is why I believe celebrating World Breastfeeding Week is so important to help raise awareness. Because without the necessary support systems in place for mothers, they are doomed to fail before they even start. So I urge you, take the time to lend a helping hand to a breastfeeding mother, not only this week but whenever you can. Celebrate them. Give them a high-five. Show them your support. Because it truly does take a village to breastfeed.

About the Author

Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a writer and a breastfeeding advocate. You can find her blogging at Mom Loves Best.com where she aims to help new mothers deal with and overcome common breastfeeding struggles, like low milk supply, engorgement and returning to work.