According to a 2012 report by Active Healthy Kids Canada, many children between 6th and 12th grade spend almost eight hours in front of a screen, typically TV sets or computers. This is almost four times more than the recommended two hours, and that represents time better spent playing outdoors and interacting with nature─ especially for their physical, mental, and emotional development. So how do you coax your children away from the call of mass and social media?
In an article for Canadian Living, writer Cynthia Reynolds suggests turning your backyard into a sanctuary for nature and letting your children explore it:
A backyard wildlife habitat filled with bright-coloured birds eating seed, butterflies resting on flower blooms and dragonflies flitting about will be an instant hit with kids – especially if it also contains belching frogs, or even spooky bats for more adventurous parents. Not only will a habitat draw children outside, but the process of setting one up is a wonderful way to bring the family together, and it’s great for the animals, too.
This is especially true if you seek the help of professional Hamilton landscapers to set up a birdbath or two while transforming your backyard. There are many types of birdbaths you can take advantage of; these run the gamut from simple ground-level basins to pricier solar-powered ones that can provide some much-needed warmth to the water. No matter which type you go for, you should make sure you can clean it easily; immersion heaters to keep the water from freezing over in winter are a bonus.
Part of making sure the habitat stays safe for both your children and the wildlife is ensuring it remains free of chemicals. To this end, be sure to avoid traditional pesticides and pursue more natural alternatives; aphids, for example, can be dealt with by planting chives and mint, as well as wrapping the bottom of your plants in aluminum foil. Slugs on the other hand can be kept at bay by placing lemon balm, sage, and even human hair around your garden.
Your children deserve a space where they can let their minds and bodies run wild while taking in everything nature has to offer. Creative Hamilton landscaping companies like Green Collar Landscaping can help you make that space… and make sure your kids reach their full potential.
(Article and Image Excerpt from “Create a Backyard Nature Habitat with Your Kids”, Canadian Living, undated)