Kids are natural nature-lovers. If you give young kids a chance to explore outside, chances are they’ll have a blast. But in our modern society, kids are getting less and less opportunities to explore the outdoors, so how can we build a love of the outdoors in our children?
The best way to foster an appreciation for anything is through experience. If kids aren’t getting out into nature, reading about nature and learning about nature, it can kind of go by the wayside. As parents, we need to be intentional about making the outdoors a part of our kids’ everyday lives, in this way, being in nature will be second nature.
Below you’ll find some great ideas of ways to incorporate the outdoors into your children’s lives every day.
Unplug and get out
Technology plays a huge role in our modern lives. Kids spend a lot of time staring at screens both at home and at school, and the amount of time left for getting outside is rapidly dwindling. It’s best to be able to spend time outside every day both for overall health and to learn to appreciate the outdoors, but along with that, it’s a good idea to spend one full day a week completely unplugged from screen time and doing other things like getting outside, reading books, playing games or just spending time together as a family. Not only will the outdoor time go a long way to building that love of the outdoors, but it will help to build stronger bonds for your family.
Along with regularly getting outside, be intentional about planning outdoor adventures. Make it fun and exciting. Plan a hike where you do a scavenger hunt. Take a camping trip for the first (or hundredth) time. Build a tree house together. Experience is the key here, if kids aren’t getting outside, they’ll never learn to love being outside!
Read about it
Reading is a great way to immerse your children in the outdoors, even when you’re not outside. There are countless books on every imaginable topic related to the outdoors available for all different ages of children. From pictures books about camping to science books about botany and animal habitats to young adult fiction about wilderness survival, you’ll never run out of good books about nature!
Learn about it
Pick a topic of interest related to the outdoors and have your kids do a study on it. For instance, study up on camping. Use the internet to look up information about how to camp, watch videos about setting up a camp site or cooking over a fire, find stories about camping adventures. This is a great way to incorporate the technology our kids enjoy while building up their knowledge and appreciation for the outdoors.
In conclusion, it’s really all about exposure. Give your kids plenty of opportunity to get out into nature daily and for special adventures, provide them with stories and informational books about the outdoors and help them learn about the world around them. With these experiences, you’re sure to plant the seeds of a love for the outdoors which will continue to grow for the rest of their lives.
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