If you are an outdoorsy parent, it is natural to want to pass down your love for nature to your children. However, it is important to not throw them in the deep end. Check out these five tips to effectively introduce your children to nature!
Start Off Small
Easing your kid into the outdoors is important. If you take them on a 10-mile day hike to start out, it’s pretty likely they will never hit the trails again. Start out with local trails that are close to your home. Developing a love for the nature in one’s hometown is a great way to start.
Choose trails that are short and don’t take up too much time. Showing your kids that you can fit some outdoor activity into a busy city schedule is important. It builds their interest in the outdoors while proving that nature can be found everywhere!
Pick trails that give you the most bang-for-your-buck! Finding easy trails that have killer sights are a great way to start out. Waterfalls, giant sequoias, and mountain views are all fun options for kids.
Decreasing the time spent walking on the trail and increasing the time spent exploring the destination is ideal. Letting your kids adventure around at their own leisure without following a designated trail makes it more fun for them.
Start When They Are Young
Introducing your kids to the outdoors at a young age is ideal if possible. Teaching them that being outside is just as much a part of life as being inside is important. You can make an outdoor lifestyle seem like the “normal” lifestyle.
Taking your kids to hands-on museums and zoos when they are younger is a fun way to get them inspired. From there, you can graduate them to becoming more immersed in nature.
Go The Extra Mile (Metaphorically)
Bust out all the stops when you take your kids out on the trails for the first time. This means bringing fun games, smores supplies, and other cool items for them to use outside. Finding items that help your kids interact with nature in a fun way will help them learn to appreciate it and love it.
Try giving your child a disposable camera and let them take it on the hike! The anticipation of waiting for the photos to get developed will only add to their interest in the outdoors.
Let Them Get Dirty
Let your kid be adventurous even at the cost of getting dirty and scraped up. Babying them will prevent them from developing an understanding of the limits of nature which is essential to appreciating it.
Additionally, getting dirty is fun! Don’t let your kid miss out on the joys of making mud castles and rolling around in the dirt. It might take some extra soap when you get home, but your kid will associate being outside with having fun!
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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