Jun 13, 2017

 5 Ways to Get Kids into Nature

Image via Pexels


Back when we were children, it was almost unheard of that we would play inside, and according to studies, children who grew up in the 70s and 80s spent at least two to three hours playing outside every single weekday. This kept them active, healthy, and social. Today, however, children would much rather stay in and watch TV or play on their computers than go outside and kick a ball around. 

Nature is good for our kids, encourages imagination, keeps away depression and allows them to develop far better than from behind a tablet screen. Playing outside keeps health issues at bay, makes us all happier and boosts immune systems. Here are a few tips to encourage your little people to get outside and play this summer.

Invite magic into garden

Children love a little bit of magic and mystery, so try constructing a fairy house at the bottom of the garden and creating a story around it. You can leave clues outside it before they get up in the morning for them to find, and they can decide what the mischievous fairies were up to overnight!

Make the garden accessible

By making the garden child-friendly, you will automatically encourage them to play out there. You can do this in a number of ways - by sending them out with chalk to draw on the paving stones, adding a slide or a paddling pool. If you are thinking about buying a trampoline for your garden, you can read Parenting Pod’s Skywalker trampoline reviews here. 

Make nature exciting

Having enthusiasm for nature will rub off on your children, and result in what is known as “parallel play”. So, if you show excitement for hiking, animals or gardening, your kids will too. Often, children do as we do and not as we say, and you will find them creating their own version of your activity nearby.

Don't be afraid of dirt

By sending your kids outside in their old clothes, you are teaching them that it is okay to get dirty. If you have a little one who would rather wear their fancy clothes, then it could be a good idea to just accept that they will get a bit muddy - after all, the play is far more important than the physical objects! Remember, once dry, most mud is pretty easy to get off, so try not to be too uptight about jumping in puddles or digging.

Take indoors out

If you child loves playing with their building blocks, dolls or Lego, set out some blankets outside and take their favorite toys with you. By changing the environment, you are changing the way they play, and showing them that a life outside can be achievable too.

Add water

It’s no secret that kids love playing with water! As a sensory activity, it helps brain development and lays a foundation for scientific and mathematical learning. So encourage splashing, pouring, sloshing, stirring and anything else which gets them wet!

Remember, the earlier you instill a love of the outdoors in you child, the less likely they are to become indoor people when they grow up.