This post is contributed by Erika Blackie.
Before my family goes outside to play, I make sure that we are all wearing our “animal clothes”. This term is frequently used in our household to describe our outdoor clothes - that go-to pair of shorts, t-shirt, or sweater that is made to be worn outside and get dirty. Last week, while tromping through the forest, I started reflecting on my family’s animal clothes and realized that there is more to the clothing we wear outside than simply being a sweater or shirt that can get dirty.
The clothes my family wears when we are outside are a symbol of family bonding time. For example, my son’s outdoor clothes include his favourite blue sweater. He wears this sweater on camping trips, for walks in the woods, and of course whenever we go to our local park. What looks like a regular blue sweater, is instead a symbol for him of time spent outside as a family. For him, this sweater brings memories of when he caught his first fish at Algonquin Provincial Park, when he saw a moose for the first time, and when he learned to ride his bike.
A quick scan of my family’s clothing and you’ll find lots of shirts and sweaters with graphic images of animals and natural landscapes or quotes about nature - in fact, this style of clothing has become quite popular and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you own similar clothing! These images are not only quite cute and graphically pleasing, but can also help kids learn about nature. A t-shirt with images of elephants, polar bears, or blue whales can inspire conversations with your child about that animal - a child’s natural curiosity will have them asking questions to learn more about where the animal lives and what it eats. I believe that clothing with artwork inspired by nature can convey important messages and educate our kids about the natural world.
If you’re looking for some new clothes for your family, consider purchasing a t-shirt or sweater that encourages family bonding and educates your family about the natural world. Endanzoo is a clothing line designed for families interested in wildlife conservation and creating a connection between children and endangered species. Their collection of brightly coloured t-shirts and sweaters feature one of a kind artwork which conveys important messages.
Endanzoo also features a line of customizable t-shirts which can be printed with your child’s name on it. Adding their name to a t-shirt which features their favourite animal, helps make their clothing more personal. I love the idea of getting a personalized t-shirt for each member of my family!
My family’s animals clothes have become a symbol of family bonding as well as help inspire my kids to learn more about nature. What do the clothes you and your family wear outside mean to you?