Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Forest Bathing

One day this summer, I team-taught a class to a half-dozen of my colleagues entitled "A Walk On the Wild Side." The purpose? To encourage teachers to look for classroom cures for nature deficit disorder by creating ways to use the outdoors as a curricular tie in.

We started at the Upper School campus with some activities along the nature trail as well as sharing some different ways to engage kids outdoors, then biked the trail the 3 miles to Lower School--picnic lunching and geocaching along the way, and ended with an outdoor scavenger hunt and work times at the Lower School.

We started by sharing Florence Williams' book Nature Fix and this video trailer for the book:

One of the concepts we briefly discussed was also in the Nature Fix book: Forest Bathing. No, it's not a soak in the tub, but rather a different kind of immersion. By placing yourself purposefully in the middle of the woods, therapeutic effects abound. And it's science backed, by Japanese doctor, researcher, & forest medicine specialist Qing Li. He's also written the book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness. Forest bathing (or Shinrin-Yoku) is quite popular in Japan, where Dr. Li lives. It's not a new concept either, having been around since the early 1980s.

To learn even more about forest bathing, I'd suggest checking out these resources--but most of all, I'd encourage a good old fashioned walk in the woods!

Video from; "Walk on the Wild Side" art created at, "May the Forest Be With You" from, & other pics from my phone from the outdoor education workshop I taught.

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