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It’s been a long winter and an even longer year, spent mostly cooped up inside due to various lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.  But though we’re still battling the coronavirus, getting outside into the sunshine and fresh air is important, even if we have to do it spaced apart.  Unfortunately trips to take the garbage out don’t count, according to my mom, but I have a good excuse to get outside in an isolated area: my horse and his propensity to find every single burr in the field, get it in his mane and tail, and turn into a unicorn.

 

Getting kids outside is especially important for their health, both physical and mental.  Even a quick walk around the block can lower blood pressure, boost energy, and improve your state of mind.  With winter retreating, the sun is getting stronger and there’s nothing as invigorating as turning your face up to the spring sunshine (just make sure you wear sunscreen and don’t look directly at the ball of burning light).  Although kids have had to adjust how they play and who they can play with, getting them outside – with family, if possible – will benefit everyone.

 

outside you notice by erin alladin / a watercolour painting of a young girl with braids sitting in the branches of a treeTowards the end of April, Pyjama Press is publishing Outside, You Notice by Erin Alladin and illustrated by Andrea Blinick.  A combination of lyrical observations of nature and quick nonfiction facts, the book encourages kids to get outside and explore, from their own backyards to woods, fields, and public trails. Erin Alladin graciously did a presentation for LSC during our Children’s Display Day on the 18th.

 

Wild Outside by Les Stroud / an animated version of Les Stroud flanked by various wild animals from around the worldLes Stroud, Survivorman on OLN and Discovery, recently published Wild Outside a book for kids detailing some of his adventures in the wild, along with nature facts and tips for safely observing local wildlife.  These adventures include being stalked by a jaguar, traversing the desert in search of weaverbird eggs to eat, and even being chased by a moose!  While most kids won’t encounter anything that extreme, they can still respectfully check out their local birds, small animals, and plant life.

 

On the other hand, some kids aren’t very outdoorsy, and that’s okay.  As a kid and teen, I often took a beloved book and relaxed out on the back deck while I read, but I was never big on activities like camping, or sports that didn’t involve animals.  There’s nothing wrong with bringing traditionally indoor activities like painting, writing, or board games outside, to backyards or local parks.  And while most parents would like their kids to have less screen time, the portability of modern electronics means video games and TV can go just about anywhere.

 

Nature heals by Blue Owl / a young person sits on the edge of a rock in a mountain range with a wild sky stretching out before them After a year of disrupted schooling and isolation, parents are rightly worried about the mental health of their kids.  Many libraries have books on mindfulness, anxiety, and relaxation for kids.  Combining those topics with nature and the outdoors, Blue Owl Books published the Nature Heals series in January, featuring activities like camping, gardening, and simply listening and watching. 

 

 

slow down by rachel williams / an illustration of the various stages of a butterfly life cycleWe live in a fast-paced world and sometimes everyone – kids and adults – needs a reminder to slow down and take in the beauty of the natural world.  The book Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature by Rachel Williams helps kids do just that.  Each spread illustrates a unique moment in time that we can appreciate by slowing down, whether that’s the appearance of a rainbow after the rain, or a shooting star flying across the night sky.

 

So if you’re feeling sluggish and everyone’s sick of looking at a screen, head outside on a nice sunny day.  Take a walk, get down in the dirt, or stretch out in the backyard with a good book and your favourite drink.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the farm, pulling endless burrs off my horse.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Enjoy!

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