The times are changing and it seems like nowadays kids would rather enjoy screen time instead of outdoor time. It is so incredibly important to raise our future generations to not only appreciate and enjoy the outdoors but to take care of it, cherish it, and explore it. Thankfully it’s quite simple to raise children to love and appreciate the outdoors. There are many ways to encourage your children to have fun outside, and doing so will give them an appreciation for the outdoors that will last a lifetime.
START THEM YOUNG
This might seem like common sense but if you want your kiddos to love and appreciate the outdoors get them outdoors while they are babies. Nowadays if kids are spending most of their childhood having fun inside, it is more common that they will prefer being indoors rather than exploring the outdoors. Go explore - Not only are walks great for getting in shape but they also give little ones the fresh air they need and introduces them to the outdoors, including exploring all of their difference senses. This can be as simple as putting your little one in the stroller and going for a walk around the park and getting out on the grass. This will introduce and encourage them to feel all the different feels and to experience everything the outdoors has to offer.
THOSE FIRST STEPS
Taking their first steps is a moment that you will remember and cherish for years to come. Take that life moment and turn it into a learning adventure! Get rid of that stroller or just no longer bring it to your outdoor adventures. When kiddos are contained in wagons or strollers they aren’t able to fully experience all that the outdoors have to offer. Try giving them more independence and freedom to explore and enjoy the outdoors. While this may slow down the pace, this also gives you more time to truly enjoy the day. Take that extra time to walk another lap at the park, feed the birds, pick up leaves, and so on. This will teach children to be more independent, and even be carried less. If your little ones get tired from all of the walking take that moment to sit in the grass for a picnic or play a game.
EXPLORE YOUR BACKYARD
It is important to not make outside a big event that includes hours of planning. Make sure that your children spend a few hours outside everyday. Make it a regular thing! Even if this includes bird watching outback, walking through the garden, picking veggies, or climbing a tree. There is a lot of learning and exploring to have, even in your own backyard. This will teach children that going outside is regular, important, and fun; rather than a rare occurrence. Of course, big camping trips and family hiking adventures are something to get excited about, but keep the small outings as an everyday thing and as stress-free as possible.
TAKE IT SLOW
If you truly love the outdoors and are wanting your kiddos to enjoy the outdoors as much as you do; don’t be pushy! If you force your children to go outside and do things they aren’t quite yet excited about or may be nervous about they will pull back and may cause negative feelings towards the outdoors. If you’re wanting them to become the avid hiker or camper you hope them to be, don’t push camping trips if they're nervous about it. Introduce these adventure at a pace they can handle. Chances are they’ll love it! If you love the outdoors you probably want your children to love it just as much as you do. The outdoors is all new to them, they might like different outdoor activities than you, and that’s okay. Start with the baby steps; go for a short hike together, walk in the grass at the park or even pitch a tent in the backyard.
Raising outdoor enthusiasts can be easy! Simply introducing the outdoors while they’re young could be just what they need to realIze just how great exploring the outdoors is. You might even get your new hiking, hunting, camping or even fishing buddy.