I remember a song from my childhood (Teddy Bear’s Picnic by Anne Murray) which went:
If you go down in the woods today
You're sure of a big surpriseIf you go down in the woods todayYou'd better go in disguise!
For every bear that ever there wasWill gather there for certainBecause today's the day theTeddy Bears have their picnic.
Picnic time for Teddy BearsThe little Teddy Bears are havingA lovely time todayWatch them, catch them unawaresAnd see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily gad aboutThey love to play and shoutThey never have any caresAt six o'clock their Mommies and DaddiesWill take them home to bedBecause they're tired little Teddy Bears.
Sadly, many of the English woodlands do not exist any more although sometimes, when travelling, I see a woodland for sale and think how lovely it would be to own one. As a child I remember going on an expedition to a local woodland, during spring, to spend an afternoon with my family picking primroses. And today, I have native primroses growing wherever there is a space to pop one in.
Back to Nature Garden
The month of May always means the world renowned annual Chelsea Flower Show - and this year, the Duchess of Cambridge from the British royal family has been in the news with her Back to Nature Garden (co-designed with Andrea Davies and Adam White). This lovely garden included a small woodland complete with tree house, waterfall, rustic den and a campfire, along with tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow log for children to play on or even in.
The garden was inspired by childhood memories that are triggered by the natural world, promoting the physical and emotional well being for young children (in particular) that access to green spaces and gardening provides. The Duchess of Cambridge's own children had a helping hand in decorating the garden, and gave it their seal of approval by trying everything out.
Researchers have found that if children can play outdoors for at least an extra 40 minutes a day, this provides additional protection for their eyes and can even prevent them from becoming short sighted. Known as myopia, being short sighted means that you can only see things clearly when you are up close to them. As parents, do your best to prise your children away from the ever present distraction of technology and make holiday time a more natural time – one that they will remember for years to come. And once you have made these changes during the summer holiday months, continue on with the good work in the other seasons too. There is absolutely no reason to stop! Modern restrictions on children often result from Health and Safety rules and regulations but, instead of keeping them safe, they are being deprived of valuable life lessons and the exercise they need for healthy psychological and physical growth. We cut down on their physical activity and then wonder why they cannot concentrate in school. It is time for all of us, including our children, to make the effort to go down to the woods again!
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.