Parenting

How to Encourage a Love of the Outdoors in Your Children

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Do your children love the outdoors? Nowadays, unfortunately, most children prefer to be on electronic gadgets, smartphones, computers, and TV, which keep them from the pleasures of outdoor explorations. Also, extra-curricular activities and busy schedules leave kids little time to play outdoors. 

Children are missing out on a significant part of their childhood, bonding with nature. Children lacking enough time outdoors affects their physical and mental health and hinders their creativity.

So, how do you urge your children to love the outdoors?

1. Take them Fishing

Going out into the lake to fish and catching some fish can be fun for your children. If you have a fishing boat, the more fun it will be. Teach them how to use outriggers to avoid tangled lines while fishing. They allow the fisherman to reel in and release the fishing line through clips and a system of pulleys.

2. Prioritize Time Outdoors

Although it may look obvious, going outdoors frequently is a significant part of sharing your fondness for nature. Even if you’re busy on weekdays, there are ways to make your children spend time outdoors. Try to take your children outdoors for a picnic dinner or talk for a walk before you sleep. 

Alternatively, schedule regular outings during weekends. Outdoor games, hikes, and family walks bring families closer while encouraging children to love the outdoors.

3. Read Books on Outdoor Adventures

Another excellent and effective way to nurture your child’s love for the outdoors is by discovering it in storybooks. Look for books talking about animals, seasons, and other natural marvels. You can also look for stories talking about children having fun outdoors. Your child will connect with the characters and want to have a similar experience. 

If you can, relate your time outdoors to the stories depicted in the books. Show them familiar animals, plants, and environments from the books. As your child’s familiarity with nature increases, so will their love for it.

4. Teach your Children about Nature

Often, small children have many questions as their “hows” and “whys” never seem to end. You can encourage your child’s love for nature and curiosity by answering their questions as best as possible. It is expected that you may not have an answer for every question, but you can help your child look for answers from books or searching online. They will do the same when they grow up.

5. Start Small

Is there a backyard in your home? If there is, start there instead of taking your child to the park. This is because the park is different from their comfort zone and has more incentives that may be overwhelming. Supervise them from afar to avoid getting into tricky situations or needing to use the bathroom. If not, keep them outdoors until they get tired. Try and add toys that resemble the streets and nature to help them get used to the outdoors.

6. Get Creative Outdoors

Imagination and creativity develop early in kids. It won’t be long before your young ones start to create music and art, games, and participate in imaginative role-play. 

Therefore, get your children outdoors to participate in fun activities like building hiding dens, making music, and making nature art. Doing these activities will help them improve right-sided brain functions, which puts them in a better position to excel in their formal education.

7. Teach Survival Skills

The best way to develop confidence and urge children to grow outdoors is to nurture their survival skills. By learning how to start an open fire, build shelter, be ready for any weather condition, cook on an open fire and handle an emergency in the wilderness, your child will be more comfortable and able to handle the unpredictability and challenges of the outdoors. Children love to acquire survival skills and respond well to bush craft challenges and team tasks.

8. Sleep Outdoors

If possible, you can try sleeping in the open if there are no mosquitoes. Alternatively, pitch a tent in your backyard and only bring a sleeping bag and flashlight. Use this time to enjoy the fresh air and listen to your surroundings.

9. Observe the Skies

Pack a comfortable blanket and spread it in the field. Spend an afternoon with your child identifying cumulonimbus and cirrostratus clouds. Talk about weather occurrences and the clouds preceding them. You can also encourage the children to be imaginative and say what they observe in the clouds. 

At night, check out stargazing websites for directions to the constellations based on the current month. Go and see if you can spot the constellations.

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