One of the most common questions I get asked is how do I get my girls so interested in nature and the outdoors? So many parents I speak to struggle with getting their children out of the house and off on adventures, especially those with older children who would rather spend time gaming inside.
However, I want to assure you, that it is not as hard as you may think. In fact, for us, we couldn’t imagine the girls not fascinated by nature, as it is such an integral part of our daily lives. This week I’ve comprised a list of tips to help those families wishing to spend more time outdoors and how to get your kids on board too!
Make It A Family Endeavour
As adults, we perhaps of all, are most guilty of getting trapped in the day to day, stuck to our phones and forgetting there is a whole world out there to explore. This of course, then impacts our families. In the days of technology and demanding social media, it is easy to forget how important it is to have time away from it all. To do things that make you forget to check your phone…
By making it a family endeavour to spend more time outside, you not only benefit yourselves, but also instil it’s importance to your children. Lead by example. Show them all of the great memories that can be made outdoors. All of the wonders that await them. They are sure to follow your footsteps if they see you having a good time.
This is perhaps one of the main reasons why our girls are such nature babies. Since birth they have been out exploring. They have grown up knowing the joy their parents have in nature, how intricate and beautiful life is. Now we have the pleasure of watching Aria discover nature and all the secrets it holds for herself.
Make It Fun
If your kids have a somewhat dim view of nature, then you need to help them see what a fun and amazing place the world is.
Find out what they are interested in, be it rocks, adventures, treasure maps, it can be anything. Then tailor make the experience to them. Perhaps building a log Fort is more up their street. Or perhaps drawing pictures of the beautiful woodland. The possibilities are endless.
Just remember that nature is meant to be FUN. If you truly want them to spend more time outdoors make it something they look forward to rather than a chore they feel obliged to partake in.
Mix It Up
Routine soon becomes boring. Visiting the same places over and over again is bound to become monotonous for both you and your children. I regularly search for new and interesting places to explore. Whilst we are very lucky in Suffolk to have such a rich and varied landscape, you don’t have to look too far for new adventures.
Even in the city there may be a new park close by that you over looked until this point. Perhaps there is a place you have always wanted to visit but never got around to it.
I find it helpful to make a list throughout the year when I see new interesting places, that way when we fancy a day out we can simply choose from a list rather than scouring the Internet to find somewhere new.
Bring Nature Indoors
Nature need not be an outside only affair. There are certainly days where Aria is simply not in the mood to venture outside or the weather is unsuitable to take the girls out. However, this doesn’t mean that their exploration of nature has to wait.
There are so many nature based activities that you can enjoy inside. From art, to science there are no limits to what you can explore. Maybe you can travel to a far off land on Google earth and learn about the wildlife there. Or perhaps making some cute pinecone hedgehogs and leaf window catchers are more up your street? Even a lovely afternoon story can do wonders to inspire the imagination.
Check out our top winter activities if you’re stuck for ideas in the colder weather!
These tips are only a few suggestions on how to bring more nature into your family life. That’s not to say it will work for everybody. Each family is different and has unique dynamics. However, these steps will surely help make time outdoors a family endeavour and one that you will all enjoy.
By cultivating even the smallest interest in nature within our children, we as parents, can make big changes to their relationship with the outside world. Whilst we are not here to shape our children, as they are individuals within their own rights, the benefits of nature is something that should be enjoyed by all. They walk in our footsteps. It is our responsibility as parents to show them the wonders that await them. We are their biggest role models.
How do you encourage a love of nature in your household? Comment below!
WRITTEN BY AMY KINGSTON FOR HER BLOG, GROWING UP WITH NATURE.