There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather is told by Linda who is a Swedish woman living in America. She recounts her childhood vs her own children and how different growing up in modern America is. I really loved how she told her story but also added in facts. It was a good mix and was an interesting read. Although it is mostly things I already knew it was still good to read someone else's point of view.
If we want our children to care about nature, they need to spend time in it first.
We need to prioritize daily outdoor time with our children. Start when they are babies and make it part of your routine. Celebrate everyday nature in your backyard. It doesn't need to be a grand adventure to have an impact. The early years should focus on a child's curiosity and get them excited about the world around them. Let them run wild and get dirty, pick flowers, build forts, collect stones. Encourage their natural curiosity!
In Sweden, it's not out of the ordinary to see kids outside playing in the pouring rain or in the snow. No wonder they say "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes" so much!
Fresh air is so good for everyone, especially children. Even back in my mother's generation, when they were children it wouldn't be uncommon to see a baby outside having a nap in the stroller. If you did that now in North America, then you would most likely get child services on you. Even if that baby was dressed appropriately, in the shade, covered from bug and had a monitor sitting next to them. Baby's used to sleep outside not only because the fresh air was good for them but because they generally would sleep for longer periods outside then they would in their beds inside. Have you ever noticed how good you sleep after a day spent outside?
If you haven't heard of unschooling already, you should definitely look into it. It seems as though a lot of early education in Sweden is more like unschooling. In one chapter they talk about how they don't use math or science in the general school ways. They teach them by getting each child to take turns counting how many children are there or science by taking rocks or sticks and test floating them in a bucket of water. In the winter, they might bring some snow inside and see what happens when it melts.
It's okay to let them be bored. Children do not have to be constantly entertained. If they have a chance to be bored, they have a chance to explore their creativity and imaginations. Families seem to have crazy ongoing schedules filled to the brim with activities. It's almost like there's a competition and the family with the fullest schedules win. If they express an interest in a certain sport, great! But my opinion is that you shouldn't be signing them up for activities until they are old enough to make up their own minds about it. They need to have down time too. Time to just be a kid.
The last thing I wanted to mention was that near the end of the book she mentions about "it takes a village". If you want your child to enjoy the outdoors, they need to have that support system behind them. Not just you getting outside, but they need to have their friends' parents involved as well. We need to find like-minded families so that our child isn't the only one wanting to go play outside all day. If none of their friends want to go outside, then they won't end up getting out there either. In these modern times, when 6-year-olds have the latest iPhones, we need to remember the older generations and how they were brought up. The simple life is sometimes the best. We could learn a thing or two from them.