A new endeavour called Youth Nature Days is teaching children how to safely interact with the natural environment.
Spearheaded by Air Ronge resident Larissa Muirhead, the three-week project is designed to empower kids between the ages of three and nine to build a lasting connection with the land. The sessions involve guided nature walks to identify various plants, she said, as well as teachings about respecting the forest. Muirhead took a group of children and their parents on a nature walk Monday and noted kids tend to be very interested in their surroundings.
“Being outside is still really magical for them,” she said. “They get to go out there, explore and see different colours. It’s about getting them curious, outside and interacting with nature so they can build that relationship.”
Some of the advice Muirhead shares during the sessions includes the benefits of certain plants and how they can be used. She said Labrador tea leaves are commonly used to make hot beverages and plantain can be rubbed on a bug bite to make the itching go away. Muirhead said it’s good for parents to have at least a basic understanding of plants so when kids ask about them there’s an educational approach.
Muirhead said she decided to start Youth Nature Days earlier this year after deciding to step away from selling her own naturally-made products. Known as the Northern Apothecary on Facebook, she said she still wanted to share her knowledge and decided to start the free sessions.
“I thought if I taught kids a little bit about the plants in their backyards, like how they can be used and which ones are safe to eat, maybe that would help build a connection,” Muirhead said. “Hopefully the kids … will carry the seed inside of them and let it grow as they get older.”
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