Some of the best childhood memories are made outside.
Children’s imagination and energy should be nurtured, and nature is the perfect teacher.
Playing outdoors is not only great for a child’s physical health but provides mental, social and academic benefits to their development through adolescence. Leave the video games inside and connect with nature instead!
What’s So Great About Outside?
Studies have shown that there is an academic advantage to the great outdoors.
Science test scores improve by 27 percent when schools incorporate nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.
Kids who are allowed unstructured playtime outside have improved social relations. They tend to learn about teamwork, make friends easier, and problem-solve which are critical life skills. Interacting with nature has also been shown to enhance children’s cognitive abilities and reduce symptoms of ADHD.
Growing a garden is a wonderful way to get involved outside.
Kids who participate in gardening get a chance to see where their food comes from and develop a new appreciation for it.
Devote a small patch of earth in your yard just for a kid-friendly garden. Get them involved by letting them decide what to plant in this area. Purchase kid-safe gardening tools. Work with them and teach them how to garden. They will be so excited to see their plants grow a little at a time, until they are ready for harvest or in full bloom. It will boost their confidence to see what they can create!
Take your children hiking with you next time you hit the trail.
Hiking is not just a great way to exercise, but to bond with them too. During your hike you can let their curiosity take over and give them the chance to hear, feel, and see all that nature has to offer.
Teach them about certain outdoor safety measures and about the nature around them. If they see a shell, rock, or leaf that catches their eye, encourage them to start a collection! If you need something to keep their attention give them a game to play along the way. Write down some things you know you will see and make a scavenger hunt along the way by either collecting the objects or taking a picture of it.
If your child is a bookworm, recommend nature-oriented books that will capture their imagination.
For younger kids, try Beaver, Bear, Snowshoe Hare, I Saw a Moose Today, or The Giving Tree. For older children, there are Kristin’s Wilderness: A Braided Trail, The Jungle Book, or the classic Little House on the Prairie series. Reading is a fantastic method to both enhance your child’s reading level and get them to fall in love with nature through literature.
Getting outside with your kids or discussing your love for a book they recently read is the perfect way to bond. They will learn new things and have a chance to get out of the house.
How do you and your kids connect with the great outdoors?