Forest Bathing with the Family – A Daily Simple Gift!

Have you ever stood amongst the trees in mid-autumn in awe of the wonderful canvas of color before you and wondered how the leaves change color or know when to fall?

Have you ever been in a pine forest with fog rolling in and felt the stillness of hushed sounds all around and only an echo of a bird calling in the distance?

Have you ever walked about after a winter ice storm to see the sparkling sun shine through the coated branches?

Have you ever stood under the canopy of a maple tree during a light spring rain shower and watched the water droplets roll off the tips of the leaves?

Then perhaps forest bathing may be something you’ve been doing for awhile now and the phrase is simply new to you. Or perhaps you’ve been spending a great deal of time indoors and the thought of time spent amongst the trees brings you back to childhood or a more peaceful time in your life.

Either way, now is a great time to reconnect to the idea of spending time in nature and to learn more about the benefits of soaking up your natural surroundings for a few moments each day, or as often as you can, for your health and well being and that of your family.

The bonus is you’ve come to the right place as P.L.A.Y. is very much here to help you connect and engage with this concept of forest bathing. The daily blog posts on P.L.A.Y.  are here to encourage the whole family to find the nearest nature path or patch, be present and allow for your sense of curiosity and wonder to kick in, and make the essence of P.L.A.Y.  a routine practice.


Forest Bathing For Families



Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

by Dr. Qing Li


Dr. Qing Li, a scientist in Japan, explains in his book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness and how the term shinrin-yoku (or forest bathing) came about in the 1980’s. He also shares the many ways spending time in the forest or in a nature setting can make a world of difference in your health and well being. As a scientist he has gathered the data over time to show skeptics why spending frequent time in the forest is beneficial for improved sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, increased energy boost, a natural way to connect with loved ones, and so much more. And as a human he has experienced these benefits first hand.

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I too have discovered, through simple curiosity and P.L.A.Y. , that heading outdoors daily in all seasons has had a beneficial impact on how I see and feel and experience this world. Being outdoors routinely has increased my creativity, provided a sense of calm even during challenging times, and given me the opportunity to learn so much more about my natural surroundings here in New England.

Forest bathing and nature walking have been so beneficial to my well being and that of my family that I just had to share these experiences and encourage others to join the journey. This has been the catalyst for creating P.L.A.Y. – Passionate Learning All Year and keeps me consistently returning to my neck-of-the-woods to see what new wonders have appeared right outside my door and eagerly passing forward these gifts through this blog to you and your family.


Hannah Fries, author of Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees, has also created a wonderful guide that is a great companion to Dr. Qing Li’s book and is just the right size for the whole family to engage with and be inspired by both the photos and prompts. An example of a prompt found mid-way through the book is “As you watch a tree sway in the wind, let your knees and shoulders relax. Sway a little on your own stem.” Or another example is ” Find harmony as you look closely at the natural world, you may begin to see patterns amid what seems like chaos -unexpected connections thrumming everywhere around us.” Hannah’s book is a balm in these times as we all need to find peace-filled spaces and moments to simply be present and in awe of nature which can help us feel grounded and safe on Mother Earth even in the midst of uncertainty.

Note: The foreword to Hannah’s book is written by Robin Wall Kimmerer the author of the well known and also much recommended Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.


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Time to gather up your gaggle of giggling gifts, aka kiddos + family all – Fido too, and announce you’re going for a bath in the forest – together!

It’s P.L.A.Y. Time!

Please pass forward this Simple Gift to inspire and encourage loved ones, both near and far, on their

naturally curious and creative P.L.A.Y. journey. 🙂


Fall #84 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A P.L.A.Y. September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Lightly Lumbering through the Leaf Litter”

Bonus Color Challenge – orange

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Fall #69 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Subtle Striped Shaded Stone”

BonusSweet Hues of Yellows & Slate Blues

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Family Gardening #14: Summing it All Up!


P.L.A.Y. in Place Projects


Hoping you and your gardens thrived this year – weeds, bees, and all the oh my goodness that “grows” with it!

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On this last day of summer let’s wind down this series with a few more sunny snapshots.

Strawberries foraged in the meadows under the warm summer sun. Quality over quantity to tingle your tastebuds!

 

Apples in our old orchard with some for taking a bite and some just right for cider making.

Awesome cabbages grown to make homemade sauerkraut in a crock!


Yay for green thumbs!


Butterfly garden flowers that have been given as bouquets and to dress up our table. Beautiful – like bringing sunshine indoors!


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Time to put the gardens to bed and this series too. 🙂

Tidy up the plants and regain the overgrown walking paths while filling up the compost bin with all that great vegetation.

Time to enjoy the harvest and give your green thumb a well deserved rest.

See you back here in this family gardening thread when the seed catalogs start rolling in!

Look for fresh new posts by early Spring 2021!

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Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Fall #65 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A P.L.A.Y. September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Grid-like + Geometric + Gift “

Bonus A Layer of sun-Lit Latticework on a Leaf

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Fall #64 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A P.L.A.Y. September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Bold + Banded + Black/White

Bonus River Rocks

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Fall #58 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Funny + Fuzzy + Friendly ” 

Bonus Color Challenge Black/Yellow/White 

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Nature’s *P.L.A.Y.ground* is a Feast for Your Senses Throughout the Seasons


Let’s go P.L.A.Y. in nature’s playground and restore our sense of calm through connection to the great outdoors and engaging in curiosity together.


These are some of the top “sense-sational” experiences I’ve had P.L.A.Y.ing in 2020:

*Hearing the buzzing bees while soaking up the warm sunshine on my skin and taking in the scent of summer in bloom in the butterfly garden.

*Listening to the babbling brook as it cascades down the rocky pathway.

*Hearing the birds singing an early morning wake-up call and the owl’s calling out to one another as dusk sets in to say goodnight.

*Watching the young goat kids, only a few months old, butting heads and frolicking about or cuddling one of these newborn cuties up close.

*Feeling the warm sunshine on my back as I P.L.A.Y.ed pick-up-sticks in early spring to create a brush pile.

*Seeing the ducks peeking out between the grasses in the meadow as they gobble up grubs.

*Watching the clouds sail by and a storm roll in.

*Tasting the delicious newly ripened apples in the orchard and the last fresh greens from the gardens.

*Feeling the cold on my lips while tasting the sweet local maple syrup on freshly fallen snow.

*Smelling the apple wood scented smoke outdoors on a winter’s eve from a nearby home burning a fire in a wood stove.

*Breathing in the crisp cold air while walking in the bright light and shadows created under a full moon on a winter’s night.


Nature Noticing is for EVERYONE!


No special equipment or experience is required!

Just pack your senses (+Capkin),

step outdoors,

and

soon the smiles will appear!

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Dog, kids, partner, neighbor, friends, or solo – nature P.L.A.Y. is for ALL!

Time to step out your door and experience the magic that nature has in store for you and your family TODAY!

Fall #54 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A P.L.A.Y. September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Wandering + Wingless + Wild “

Bonus Black Bug on Black Background

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My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Fall #62 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A P.L.A.Y. September treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

” Marked + Majestic + Magical ” 

Bonus Color Challenge Black/White/Orange 

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My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.

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What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books