Natural FamiliesNature Clubs and More
Families are direct decision makers in the lives of children and must be at the forefront of this movement.The Natural Families Network engages thousands of parents and families from across the country and around the world in frequent, active time together in the natural world. Groups of families organized into Family Nature Clubs help to break down barriers to getting out in nature, bringing together families from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and across generations. Family Nature Clubs also foster quality time together with family and friends.
Family Nature Clubs worldwide are dedicated to helping people get time in nature back on the family calendar by providing regular opportunities to engage in hikes, paddles, camping trips and other fun outdoor family activities. These experiences help to give families a sense of place, allow for free play in nature, and familiarize them with the many opportunities for outdoor recreation in their neighborhoods. Historically, Family Nature Clubs have been very grassroots and organic by nature, perhaps started by families just like yours. Additionally, through large-scale partnerships with organizations that also seek to serve families in nature, C&NN is growing participation in Family Nature Clubs worldwide.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Canadian Wildlife Federation
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
Janice Swaisgood, Director
Natural Families Network
Nature Clubs for Families FAQs
Why is “free play in nature” so important for kids? What’s the big deal?
If you think about it, in most parts of the developed world, many children face a day full of structured activities: school, sports, music, dance, tutoring, etc. They just don’t have the same time or opportunities for free nature play like people did just a couple of generations ago. When children don’t have time to play outdoors in the natural world, they can miss out on many aspects of their social, physical, and mental development. For more information on the value of free play in nature, click here to see what the latest research says.
My daughter is afraid of bugs and doesn’t want to get dirty. What can I do?
Your daughter isn’t alone. Many people report fear of bugs as one of the main reasons they don’t get outside. Start by knowing what the legitimate dangers are, then reassure her that most bugs are harmless and will leave her alone if she respects their space. Most people’s comfort levels increase over time with each experience. The same can be said for comfort in getting wet or dirty. Find out why your child doesn’t want to get dirty and help her, little by little, expose herself to more.
What is the difference between a Natural Family and a Family Nature Club?
When we refer to a “Natural Family,” we are probably talking about a family much like yours: one who chooses to make time to play, learn, and explore in nature on a regular basis. A “Natural Family” may or may not be part of a Family Nature Club. Families who are members of a Family Nature Club are likely to be considered a Natural Family as well. Family Nature Clubs are essentially made up of a group of people who get together to play, learn and explore in nature on a regular basis.
How can I find out if there’s a Family Nature Club near me?
I think I’d like to start a Family Nature Club. How do I get started?
What about liability? Do I need to get insurance?
“What if more and more parents, grandparents and kids around the world band together to create outdoor adventure clubs, family nature networks, family outdoor clubs, or green gyms? What if this approach becomes the norm in every community?”Richard Louv
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PLAY?
C&NN’s friends at Clif Kid are dedicated to reclaiming play. They’re encouraging boys and girls everywhere to get back outside, push their boundaries, and feed their adventures.
Find out more at http://www.clifbar.com/come-out-to-play