How to Teach Your Kids to Embrace the Outdoors!!
In this day and age technology has taken a front seat to going outdoors. Many kids today prefer to be inside playing video games or watching television as opposed to going outside. However, getting outside is important for their health and well being. According to research, spending time in natures has many benefits including better motor coordination, improved concentration, improved cognitive functioning, and a higher ability to be able to engage in play that is creative. Getting outside can also help improve symptoms of mental illness. It is for these reasons that it is so important to teach your kids to embrace the outdoors.
Since we understand the importance of getting kids outside, the question becomes, how do you teach your kids to do just that. Here are a few ideas to help you get your kids to fully embrace nature.
On one of those beautiful spring or fall nights, try sleeping outside with your kids. You can take a tent to your backyard and sleeping under the stars. Take the time to simply listen to the world around you. Kids will love the idea of sleeping outside with you. In addition, research has shown that sleeping outside away from artificial lights can help reset circadian rhythms and reduce grogginess.
One of the best and easiest ways to get your kids to be enthusiastic about nature is to simply be enthusiastic about it yourself. Children take their cues from their parents, so when they see you taking interest in nature they are likely to mimic you. Stop and smell the roses in your flowerbed. Find bugs and show an interest in them. All of this will help your children develop an enthusiasm for being outside.
Pack a blanket and go to an open field and spend the afternoon looking up at the clouds. Identify the different types of clouds or simply imagine what each of them looks like. You can make up stories about the clouds and encourage your children to tell you what they see. This can be a fun and relaxing way to spend some time together.
Take a Hike
Lace up your hiking boots and go for a walk in the woods with your kids. To help extend their attention span, bring along a bug jar or a magnifying glass. Encourage them to look for creatures and tracks along the way. When hiking with children it is important to remember to take your time. Let them lead the way and do not try to rush them from point to point.
From tomatoes on the patio to butterfly gardens, there are many easy and simple things that you can grow no matter where you live. Let your child help prepare the soil and plant the seeds. Teach them how to water the plants and weed. A garden takes some work, which will provide you with daily chances to get outside and enjoy nature.
Just Be Outside
Perhaps the best way to encourage your children to embrace the outdoors is the most simple. Just be outside. Go outside as much as possible. Even if it is just to sit on your patio in your backyard. When you go outside your children are going to see that it is enjoyable to relax outside and they will more than likely follow your lead. Make sure that you give your children uninterrupted outdoor time. You do not have to plan activities for them, let their imaginations take over. If you do just a few of the things on this list, chances are high that your kids are going to start spending more of their time outside.
My daughter and I go outside on warm nights and stare up at the stars waiting for shooting stars. we are also all about finding unique places and trails. So important for children to learn to love the outdoors!
When I was growing up we always had a garden. And we would take our 15 foot trailer on weekends and vacations.
I was very bad at this…except going to the beach we did everything inside or in the backyard my mum was the one who was the out of doors grandma to my children….
I am only just started to like being outside recently, but most of the time I like indoors. If you can get a child to like it early it will stay with them, I feel…
Thank you for these great ideas, it’s hard to teach kids to embrace the outdoors these days!
This is a great article! I live in the suburbs and I hardly ever see kids actually play outside anymore. It’s so sad!
These are all good ideas. What is nice is out in the country far away from any city, the sky is extra dark, and the stars really stand out. Some of my favorite memories of my dad are sitting outside at night, and my dad pointing out constellations.
Love this! We go on adventures every weekend,where we just get in the car and drive.My daughter is 19 and we have been doing this since she was little. It is her favorite thing. We have come across some really beautiful places,our favorite was an abandoned town and a short walk away is a massive waterfall
I myself have always liked sky watching. Both during the day and night. Kids don’t go outdoors as much anymore and articles like this help change that. Thanks.
As a child I lived in rural Indiana where I would look forward of getting off the bus and playing outdoors with my neighbor friends and my pets. No video games or internet back then.
We like to go to the beach and enjoy activities like crabbing and kayaking
My kiddos love to be outside. Thankfully, we live in the country so we have a good bit of land for them to run around on. I can’t wait to do our first real camping trip and we also love to go to the mountains in the fall when it’s a lot cooler and explore. It’s such a great time to connect with one another as a family and get off the electronics! I remember playing outside all the time as a kid. Definitely will be making sure my kids grow up that way too!
We like to go bird watching, fishing, and bicycling. All are very relaxing.
Being outdoors is great. I admit I need to get my son out side more than what he is. My older kids, who are now grown, were always outside.
My Dad taught me at an early age to appreciate the outdoors by going camping in the Boundary Waters.
So many good ideas. I want to sleep outside!
Oh, boy. My love of the outdoors is a little limited. I love the idea of gardening, for instance, or picnicking and swimming, but I never liked camping or forests or bugs, lol.
We were only talking about this yesterday. Remember when as children you’d pack up a ‘picnic’ and just head off? It was a great adventure (of course it helps if you grew up in the countryside but even urban/city life has wonders just waiting to be discovered.
This is tough for me because I have allergies and it’s not possible for me to sleep outside. My eldest child is very outdoorsy, though.