Many children nowadays do not play outside as much as the older generations did. Some are too busy with school, homework, and extra-curricular activities that they barely have time to enjoy the outdoors. Others prefer playing indoors with their wide array of toys, gadgets, and video games. While playing in all its forms is good for kids, nature or outdoor play is still an important part of every child’s development. Here are some of the many ways to encourage kids around you to reconnect with nature and experience the joys of playing outdoors.
Camp out. Let kids camp out in your backyard. Invite some of their friends over or let the whole family spend the night camping outside. This gives children the opportunity to focus on their surroundings, watch the stars, and play without the usual comforts and distractions inside your home.
Organize nature-themed scavenger or treasure hunts. Plan a fun day of scavenger or treasure hunting for kids. Come up with a nature-themed list of items that you want them to find.
Go on nature photography adventures. Children are naturally curious and one of the many ways to tap into it is to give them something creative to do. Nature photography is a great way for kids to explore outdoors and learn more about their natural environment.
Make art using natural materials. Most kids love collecting things. You can encourage them to create art and crafts using natural materials like leaves, pine cones, and more.
Take nature walks. Children tend to mimic adults’ habits and behaviors. If you want to influence kids to love the outdoors, you have to set a positive example. Taking nature walks is one of the many outdoor activities that the family can enjoy together. Visit neighborhood and city parks or plan an easy weekend hike in a trail near you.
Go for bike rides. Teach kids how to ride the bike and set off on biking adventures together. Find scenic routes like woodland parks and bike paths.
Start a garden. Gardening is a great hobby for adults and children alike. It is a good physical activity and an excellent way to teach kids to nurture things. Start a flower, fruit, or vegetable garden. You can also visit a community garden with the kids and learn more about growing your own plants.
Explore playgrounds. Take your kids playground-hunting. Find and discover playgrounds in your neighborhood, at city parks, and other places in and around your area.