Kids have a natural love to the outdoors. They are fascinated by it, attracted to it, and eager to explore it. Encouraging your child to spend time connecting with nature can encourage a lifelong appreciation for it. So how does a parent go about forging that lifelong connection between a child and nature? Below are the examples and ways to make kids more inclined to spend time outdoors:
- Be an explorer’s mentality: Be open to whatever happens when you’re in nature. Give kids the time and space for discoveries; in other words, don’t rush them along a path. Take time to flip logs, lift rocks, explore hideouts, and climb trees.
- Collect stuff: Allow your children to bring their natural treasures into the house. Set up a display table where rocks, sticks, leaves. Let them explore the gift of nature like butterfly, insects and colourful flowers.
- Set an example: We all know children emulate their parents. If you spend all your time with your phone, they’ll also do the same. But if you show interest in the great outdoors, that will show their curiosity too. Take time out of your day to be outside.
- Go for camping: Camping is a fabulous way to engage with nature as a family, and to create memories that will stay for life. Staying outside for 24 hours at a time exposes kids to a side of nature they might not usually see, such as nocturnal animals, open sky with shining stars, and building a fire etc.
- Project on nature: Help them to build a water point for birds in your yard. Treehouses are another great project that might need some adult assistance, but will become the site of many of their greatest childhood memories.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), toddlers & elder kids typically spend about eight hours per day watching television, or using their computers and smartphones; gazing at these devices can have negative physical and developmental effects over time. On the other hand, children who spend less time indoors and engaged with this media tend to sleep better, feel healthier, do better in school, and carry fewer behavioral issues.
Create a special area that pays homage to nature. Encourage your children to observe these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.