There are some people who just seem to be born loving the outdoors; they enjoy spending the vast majority of their free time outside with nature as a means to de-stress and to take in all the beautiful sights around them on this beautiful planet we call home.
On the other hand, there are people who simply do not like to be outside, they prefer to be indoors and do not see the merit of being outside and immersing themselves in nature.
There is nothing wrong with either but often meshing the two different kinds of people together to hang out can be difficult because they have fundamentally different interests regarding what to do and where to do it.
For parents who love being outdoors and love partaking in activities that involve being outdoors, it is important that their kids enjoy being outside as well so that the whole family can have fun. If you have a kid and they are not into the outdoors and nature, here are some tips to make a more enjoyable outdoor experience for your whole family, and possibly helping your kids to learn to love the outdoors just as much as you do!
One way to help you child enjoy the outdoors more is something that many people may not initially think of. Getting rid of your stroller is a great way to get your child fully immersed in the experience of being in nature and partaking in the outdoor activities. As soon as your child can walk, let them walk; let them experience nature for themselves and not just through the perspective of being pushed in a stroller.
Just like anything, especially with little children, this is going to require some patience on your part. It is not necessarily going to be a seamless experience. Sometimes your children will throw a tantrum; sometimes they just may not be receptive to the experience that you are having.
Be excited with them; show them that this is something that is fun and something that is interesting and worth getting excited about, they will soon feel the same way.
Do not get discouraged if it doesn’t happen as quickly and seamlessly as you would have hoped. Getting out into nature, hiking, and seeing all these amazing but also very large and different wonders is something that can be more intimidating for your child that you might realize. So let your child get used to it, let your child take it all in and be patient and encouraging throughout the process of adaptation.
Now this is something that some parents may be opposed to, but using some sort of strategic bribing can also help make the trip enjoyable for your whole family and encourages your child to appreciate being in nature and the outdoors.
If your child loves candy and you often do not allow him or her to have it, let them have a piece of candy if she is behaving properly while out on the trail.
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Another thing that gets children excited is if you fully make them a part of the process. Allow them to have some of their own gear, allow them to hold something so that they truly feel as though they are fully immersed in the experience.
There is the added benefit of children getting very excited about being responsible for a new and strange object they have not had the opportunity to use before.
As with most things when children are involved, it is going to be hard to adhere to a strict schedule and agenda. If you and your partner were previously used to a defined routine when you went on outdoors trips or hiking at national parks, you’ve got to know that this is not necessarily always feasible when kids are involved.
Let the children have some freedom to fully enjoy nature so they feel like they are having fun and able to explore and do what they want to do for a bit. That way they will not feel like they are being held to a strict schedule that takes a lot of the fun out of the whole experience.
It could be important to set some ground rules with your children before you go on the journey. Tell them that whining will not be accepted but they can certainly talk to you if they are upset about something. This way things do not deteriorate into children having tantrums and ruining the experience for themselves and the whole family. Open dialogue and communication can go a long way in ensuring that every person in the family has an amazing time outdoors.
Do not assume that your children should carry as much as you do; don’t assume that they are going to want to carry a backpack, which can be extremely heavy, uncomfortable and make the hike substantially harder for them.
Let you child ask you for permission to help out and hold a backpack – this way your child will feel like they are participating more but not doing it out of a sense of obligation for something that they truly do not want to be doing.
Getting your children excited about outdoor-based adventures is certainly possible, especially if you are a family that already has a passion for nature and exploring the great outdoors, but may take some time, patience and strategy to make sure that it is the most enjoyable experience for everyone in the family.
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