The best thing about the wide outdoors is that most of the activities can be done for free! Some activities like camping or outdoor sports do come at a small cost but that doesn't mean children can't take advantage of what nature has to offer. Just being able to stay outside, frolic among the flowers, chase butterflies, or simply getting some fresh air are some of the many things that will make kids appreciate and encourage them to connect with the natural world.
However, children these days never lived in an age without the internet. Computer games piqued their interest and operating smartphones are more like inborn talents to most kids. Even if the kids seem to favor being in the indoors than outdoors, it is never too late to instill an appreciation and love of nature and teach them to live a more balanced life. We have a few tips on how to teach your kids to love nature.
1. Be a Good Role Model
Children are not the only ones into technology too. In fact, majority of parents are. You can't hurry them out to play outside so you can sit and browse on social media sites to check on your friends. Everyone in the family needs a break and unplug. Set a good example by spending time outdoors yourself. It is a perfect opportunity to tell your kids about your favorite childhood outdoor experiences. Once children see that you value nature, then they will too.
2. Plan Family Outings
One of the best way to experience fun outdoor activities is to do it as a family. Take time to research if you have nearby state or national parks. You can also check if there are any hiking trails in the area or good camping sites that you think your children will enjoy.
Simple outdoors activities like having picnic in the backyard, walking the dog around the neighborhood, or stargazing during a clear night sky will have your kids enjoying the outdoors. Most importantly, you will give them memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Get the Children Involved
It is important to ask the kids of their input instead of planning every activity yourself. Have them pick the foods they want to eat when doing a picnic. Let the kids choose their own garden plot or camping sites. Children feel more involved and have more excitement to spend time outside when they know that they are part of the decision process.
4. Respect the Earth
Children are curious creatures so educate them why the bees are visiting the flowers in the garden or the different animals you encounter during forest hikes. Children will have a better understanding of nature when they learn about animals and have more appreciation of the natural world. Teach your children that they have responsibilities in keeping the outdoors clean. Help them understand that trees, plants, and wildlife need to be protected. Once they feel that they have a sense of responsibility, then they'll be more willing to get involved with nature and the outdoors.
5. Spend More Time Outdoors
Go outside whenever you can! Whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall there is no shortage of activities for the family to do and enjoy. There is swimming in the summer, hiking, and biking. Spring time is perfect for gardening and picnics. Fruit picking in the fall and skiing or skating during the winter.
Remember that as parents, you are never too old to go outside and play. If you love nature and spending time in the outdoors, chances are your kids will, too.