Children are inherently drawn towards nature. They are captivated by the variety of flora and fauna in the natural habitats. However, this fascination starts to fade rapidly as soon as they enter their teen years. Therefore, the first step to encourage your child to develop a love for nature is to start early. Outdoor exposure is necessary for the child’s mental and physical development. Children who spend more time playing outside have a stronger immune system and are healthier in every aspect. Here are ten ways to help your child nurture their affinity for nature:
- Embody a Nature’s Explorer
Children pick up habits and hobbies from the adults in their immediate surroundings. For that reason, you have to be a nature loving role model for your children. Express your own curiosity and awe for nature’s assets to grab their attention. Share a new interesting fact about a plant or animal species every day. Inspire them to ask questions and turn your outdoor expeditions into wonderful learning experiences.
- Make Camping & Hiking a Regular Thing
Camping trips are an ideal opportunity for kids to observe nature closely and learn some essential survival skills. Plan a camping and hiking trip at least once every month; it is an inexpensive outing experience that creates tons of magical memories.
- Let the Kids get their hands dirty
If your kids is covered in mud and brings home a frog, don’t be horrified. Support their messy outdoor endeavors, even if they end in slight bruises, scraped needs, or other minor personal injuries; just make sure they clean up afterwards. Let your kids chase some bugs and roll in dirt, but remind them not to bring their critter friends inside.
- Introduce Hobbies like Stargazing and Nature Photography
A telescope or Polaroid camera are great gifts for children between the ages of 6 to 12. Allow your child to delve into the universe with their personal telescope and show them the constellations. Polaroid cameras will help preserve incredible outdoor moments, and urge them to return for more.
- Make time for Bird & Bug Watching
Encourage children to learn about native flora and fauna by taking them to nearby parks and playgrounds. Point out different birds and bugs, and try to make a game out of it. Challenge kids to identify different species or find an unfamiliar one.
- Play fun outdoor games
Hide and seek, tag, treasure hunt, Simon says and dodge the ball are a handful of games your children will love to play outside. It keeps them active and they get to unearth nature’s bounties while they are at it.
- Adopt a Pooch
If your child has been nagging you for a pet dog or puppy, give in. The pooch shall be a good excuse to suggest outdoor play; it will inspire your kid to fall in love with nature. Not to mention, your kid gains a loyal companion and protector.
- Be Creative with Nature’s supplies
Collect different kinds of leaves, rocks, and shells with your children during outdoor trips. Bring your gatherings home and create artwork with them. You can arrange and stick leaves on paper, make jewelry out of shells, or paint rocks to use for decoration.
- Teach them to Ride a Bicycle
Riding a bicycle is an excellent exercise and a great way to revel in natural landscapes. Teaching your child to ride off road allows them to develop strong skills, and cultivate an affinity for nature.
- Start a Gardening Project
Gardening is a fun and fruitful activity that shall teach your children some important life lessons. Sowing plants and taking care of them motivates a child to appreciate nature, whilst realizing the meaning of responsibility.
John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who loves sharing his personal opinions and experiences. He enjoys traveling for his love for nature and wildlife. Time spent at home with his children and pets is equally cherished, as they inspire a lot of his writing.