Book Review: How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors and Connecting With Nature

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Bonnie Thomas is a Child and Family Counselor based in the U.S. who incorporates creative expression, art and nature based activities into the work she does with her clients. In this book, she seeks to create enthusiasm for the great outdoors, recognising the benefits of nature in terms of improving physical health, drawing on natural surroundings and boosting imagination, creativity and wellbeing and getting kids offline. The book opens with an explanation of why nature is so important to her, followed by sections that cover, for example: ‘Relaxation and Mindfulness’, ‘Gardening for Wellbeing’, ‘Forest and Trees’, ’Puddles and Mud’, and ‘Bring Nature Indoors’.

The main ethos of the book is that children benefit from connecting with nature, even if that only means images of natural spaces decorating walls to support sensory awareness of natural surroundings. The many activities she suggests require little in the way of resources and could easily be integrated into daily practice in settings.This is a lovely book that supports the current interest in mindfulness and that recognises the ways in which the natural world can act as an antidote for children whose lives are increasingly dominated by online learning and social interactions. In the current climate, her ideas and activities can be seen as a useful way to support schools in developing creative ways to increase the awareness and significance of the natural world.

Author: B. Thomas. Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN:978-1-84905-968-8. £15.99. Available here. For more book reviews, click here

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