Take 5 and Nurture a Natural Connection

posted on Wed, Oct 18 2017 8:00 am by Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships

What is your favorite way to take five minutes to feel healthy and happy?

That's the question we are asking educators this month for our #TeachersTakeFive campaign. If you’re looking for simple activities to “Take 5” and connect with nature, below are a few ideas crowdsourced from my recent Healthy Office and Break Room Makeover session at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Conference. I've added a few resource links and suggestions too.

Map Your Outdoor Break Spaces

Go on a staff reflection walk outdoors and identify the best places to take a lunch break in the shade. As you walk, be on the lookout for benches and walkways that need repairs. Then create a map to hang on your wellness bulletin board. On-boarding new staff? Share your wellness policy, vision for healthy afterschool and give new hires a copy of your outdoor break spaces map. Include reminders of nearby parks, tracks and physical activity opportunities.

Let the Sunshine In

Consider simple updates to windows and window treatments. Stuck in a windowless room? Find out if you can swap locations to face nearby greenery or dedicate part of your break room for indoor plants to create a more inviting space.


Windowsill boxes with herbs and inexpensive succulents are simple ways to connect staff and students with gardening. Don’t miss NRPA’s community and home gardening resources. How could stopping to admire nature add calm to your day?

Encourage Nature-Focused Energizers

From birding to outdoor walking meetings, creating space for staff to go outdoors and connect with each other (especially new hires) demonstrates your commitment to staff wellness and provides positive role-modeling for students and families. It's a simple way to bring the National AfterSchool Association Standards to life!

How will you Take 5 and nurture a natural connection today?