15 Summer Activities to Help Your Kids Appreciate Nature

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

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 summertime, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you don’t have the luxury of sending the kids to 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.  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.

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.

Real Kids Shades Giveaway!

Little Man has been rocking his Real Kids Shades this summer! Now your child can be safe and stylish in their own pair, for free! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a pair of Real Kids Shades (your choice of size and style)!

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Fine-ish print: Giveaway runs from 12:01 am EST on Wednesday, June 19 – 12:01 am EST on Wednesday, July 3. Entering is easy! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. By filling out the form, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions linked in the bottom of the Rafflecopter. Must be 18 or older, and a resident of the U.S. or Canada only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner has 48 hours after initial contact to claim prize.

RKSwinner

{Real Kids Shades provided me with two pairs of sunglasses in exchange for a review and giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own. The Practically Green Mom is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

Fun in the Sun: Real Kids Shades {Sponsor Spotlight}

In preparing for a ton of Fun in the Sun this summer, it never occurred to me to buy my son a pair of sunglasses! (I know, I know…#momfail!) Luckily, Real Kids Shades came to the rescue and sent me a couple of pairs to try out (in exchange for this review, of course.) They’re also sponsoring a giveaway here beginning June 19th!  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Real Kids Shades are top of the line in children’s eye wear, made exclusively for infants to 12-year-olds! All of their products have been strenuously tested to insure that they provide the best protection for your little one’s precious sight. They offer 100% UVA/UVB Protection, and the lenses are shatterproof and impact-resistant. The frames are secured on an adjustable wrap-around neoprene band to fit snugly around your child’s head, while protecting the eyes from peripheral light. (And the neoprene band allows them to float in the water…awesome!) They are also lead-free, BPA-free and contain no phthalates.

Little Man chose the Xtreme Element Shades to try out on our late afternoon walk. The pair we received are made for older children (3-7 years), so he can grow into them, but they’re way too big right now. That didn’t seem to bother him one bit, though! The Xtreme Elements line is also available for infants and toddlers (0-36 months), and comes with foam padding behind the frames for extra comfort.

RKS Xtreme

The My First Shades Toddler Shades were a much better fit on him. Designed for children 2-5 years old, they were more snug around his head. He wore them the whole time on the car ride to the park, but once we got there, he was distracted by playing in the sand, and the shades stayed mostly around his neck. I’m sure they will take a little bit of getting used to when he’s on the go. The My First Shades line also comes in infant sizes (0-24 months).

RKS Toddler

I am confident that these sunglasses will last us quite a while, and provide much needed eye protection year round. As adults, we think of sunglasses as accessories, but they really are necessary gear for everyone, everyday!

“UV rays can damage your child’s eyes anytime of the year. While the harmful effects are three times greater in the summer than winter, there’s still a high risk of sustaining serious eye damage in winter months. UV rays can also do a lot of damage on overcast and cloudy days.”
~ From Protecting Your Child’s Eyes From the Sun: What Every Mom Should Know

{Real Kids Shades provided me with two free pairs of sunglasses in exchange for a review and giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

Fun in the Sun: Baby and Toddler Essentials {Giveaway!}

** I am an affiliate blogger for my favorite online CD store, Kelly’s Closet. If you order products via the links below, this blog will get a portion of the sale. Thank you for your support!

So, if you haven’t noticed…it’s June. Did your jaw just drop to the floor? Yeah, mine too. Guess it’s time to break out the sunscreen and swim trunks for some FUN IN THE SUN!

I’m very picky about sunscreen on my little man, so we use Episencial Sunny Sunscreen. I love this product for many reasons. It is gentle enough for babies – there are no fragrances, parabens, or other chemicals. It’s not tested on animals. It smells yummy! And most importantly – it WORKS!

Last year, we didn’t spend too much time at the pool, so I didn’t invest in a cloth swim diaper. When I did Little Man’s closet reorg project earlier this year, I found the small pack of disposable swim diapers I bought instead…with 18 of the original 20 still in the package. And there’s no way he’ll fit into them this year. Oops! (I obviously didn’t think that through very well…)

So, this year, I bought a cloth one. My Swim Baby Swim Diapers are really affordable ($10!!), and come in super cute prints! You can also purchase a matching rash guard AND sun hat! (If you’re on a really tight budget, you can use a delaminated pocket diaper without the insert as a swim diaper. Delaminated means that the PUL is no good (you’ll see it coming apart from the diaper itself – kind of bubbling up). It won’t stop wetness leaks, but it will contain the “twosies” – which is all a swim diaper does anyway.)

I went ahead and bought two sizes of the swim diaper, because I wasn’t 100% sure which one would fit my 21 month old. (He’s at the higher end of the XL weight range, and smaller end of the 3T). I’m so glad I bought both to try, because they do run on the small side, and we ended up going with the 3T.

Now that we have the essentials (no sunburned or bare bottom kids here!), we’re looking forward to a lot of fun in the sun this summer!

Need to stock up on these items yourself? Visit Kelly’s Closet today and enter the coupon code SUNANDFUN to get $5 off your $25 order!

You can also enter to WIN a $100 gift certificate from Kelly’s Closet in the FUN IN THE SUN GIVEAWAY!!

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Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. One winner will be selected. Must be over 18 years of age, and a resident of the US only! Contest ends Sunday, June 30th at 12:00 AM EST.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

{Disclosure: I am an affiliate blogger for Kelly’s Closet, and I’m participating in this promotion. No compensation was received. Affiliate links may be present in this post. Prizes are sponsored by Kelly’s Closet. To learn more about becoming an affiliate or about Kelly’s Closet: https://www.kellyscloset.com/affiliateinfo.asp. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

Happy Campers Love Mabel’s Labels!

Mabel’s Labels has some awesome products (and I’m not just saying that because they’re paying me to…or because I get a little something when you click these links. It’s really true! Your happy campers NEED these labels!)

Summer is only a few months away, so it’s time to start thinking about SUMMER CAMP for the kids!

Help the summer campers in your life stay organized this camp season with Mabel’s Labels. The Limited Edition Camp Combo Packs are UV resistant, waterproof labels and tags designed especially for everything that goes to summer camp. Identify clothes, footwear, toiletries, swim gear, backpacks and more with this seasonal essential.

Best of all, save $2 and receive a free gift (while supplies last) when you purchase before 4/30. Happy Camping!

{This is a sponsored post from Mabel’s Labels. I was compensated for sharing this information. This post may also contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

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