Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Trip to the Forest / Waldausflug

Have I mentioned that Berlin is the "greenest" city in the world? By this I mean it has more trees and foliage per capita than any other city. There is even a law that each citizen has a right to a tree within a few meters of their home.  The aptly named Grunewald ("Green Forest") is one of the best spots in Berlin. It is a protected forest within city limits complete with ponds, lakes, a sand pit and wild pigs.  When my children need a break from city life, the Grunewald is just a 30 minute train ride away.

In the S-Bahn station Grunewald
Daddy and son beginning our trek. We've had an Indian Summer, so everything still looks very green. 
Children and sticks - an essential combo!
Making friends with a beetle.
New finds for our nature table.
The first signs of fall.

Other-worldy looking mushrooms . . . 
 . . .perfect for a dolly world. 
Game: who can hit the tree with the pine cones?
There's nothing like sinking your feet in a muddy pond and searching for frogs.

Caught one!
The Kiesgrube (Sandpit) is one of the most fun spots in the forest.

And light saber battles are also way more fun outdoors!
I always notice an immediate change in my kids when we visit the forest or some natural setting. They are more relaxed and their concentration levels increase. 

Just a reminder of some of the benefits when children spend time in nature:
- Calming effect that also helps with behavioral problems
-  Enhances cognitive abilities
-  Children are more physically active and less prone to weight issues
-  Nurtures self-discipline.
-  Nurtures healthy curiosity and problem solving
-  Sounder sleep patterns
(For more articles on how nature positively effects children, see the links in this post.)

I wish you a great start in the week!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! The study that really struck me was this one, showing that even adults are *nicer* after they've been looking at nature: