Friluftsliv (Free-loofts-liv) is the Nordic notion of the outdoor life.

Life is better, you have more energy, and a calmer mind if you spend time outside in nature every day. Whether that is through games, sports, or just a walk. Study after study has shown physical and mental benefits of daily outdoor time for children and adults.

Love for the outdoors is a wonderful gift to give you child so start at an early age. If you’re uncomfortable outside take it in small steps, and explore with your child. You don’t have to go far. You can learn about the tiniest plant or insect in a small area. Now a days, it’s easy to identify both on a mobile phone. (See ideas for apps below.)

Change old habits and look for outdoor opportunities. Meeting another family at a coffee house or restaurant where someone’s child is prone to meltdowns? Pick up or make food instead, and meet at a park or on a hiking trail outside where kids can be kids. Have a yard? Spend more time in it. No time? Can you bring your computer or other work outside while your child explores nearby? Nature is a wonderful babysitter.

Remember the old Scandinavian saying there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So, make sure you and your child have good outdoor clothing (layers are best in cold weather), good shoes or boots depending on your outdoor adventure of choice, and rain clothes. No need to hide from the rain if you have rain pants and a good coat.

If you live in the city, check out the local parks and nature walks and pick your favorite, it’s worth the effort. You’ll get so much back in return... talk about cheap health insurance. Just 30 minutes outside everyday can improve your life.

Harvard Medical School lists some of the benefits of outdoor play for children.

Plant ID apps

Insect ID apps