Today, children are spending more and more time indoors but, think about what you or your parents did for fun during the summer holidays and they’ll probably tell you stories of their childhood memories spent outdoors.
On average, children now spent around 30 minutes outdoors each day. A lack of outdoor activity can take its toll on a child’s health, from vitamin D deficiencies to stunted neuro-motor skills development and with many children growing up in urban environments, they just aren’t moving enough.
Children and nature are a great combination and when put together, not only do they spend more time outdoors but they also become more aware of the world around them and the ecological impact which they can have on the planet. So, with the summer holidays looming, here are some ways that you can get your little ones interested in the outdoors.
In the summer months, when the sky is clear, there’s nothing better than lying down and staring up at the night sky. Stargazing is a highly engaging outdoor activity and one which really connects children and nature. Show them the pole star and teach them about navigation, or point out some of the more-known constellations. This is a great thing to do before they head to bed, as it allows them to switch off after a busy day.
Take A Trip To A Farm
Farms are a school holiday staple when it comes to days out, but instead, try visiting a working farm or pick your own fruit and veg. Showing children what it’s like to work and rely on nature is a great way to connect the two and you can show them where milk comes from, how their food is grown and encourage them to get involved. Give them a list of fresh ingredients which you need for dinner and let them pick their own!
Encourage Them To Help In The Garden
When it comes to children and nature, building up their love and passion for the outdoors starts at home. If you have a garden, try to encourage your little ones to get involved with the maintenance which comes with it. Give them a patch where they can plant seeds and teach them to care for what begins to grow by watering it regularly. Once you trust children with responsibility, they are likely to take the initiative to get more involved with nature.
Visit The Zoo
Visiting zoos, museums and aquariums is a great way to teach children about the wider environment. Children and nature go hand in hand and they’re sure to love finding out about exotic and endangered animals, prehistoric lands and fish and aquatic life which they have probably never seen before. These places are aimed towards children, so kids of all ages are sure to get something out of a visit.