The days of playgrounds, family walks, exploring outside, going to the park and pick up sports are giving way to children playing indoors. And, by playing, I of course mean staring at a screen. Now, I realize it’s a lot easier, it really is! Handing your child a phone or tablet is way easier than trying to convince them that going outside will be fun, plus watching to make sure they stay safe. However, the extra effort is completely worth it when you consider the benefits to your children.
You can find hundreds of studies on the subject and even more books addressing the issue. Communing with nature has a myriad of benefits to offer. It allows some physical activity to look forward to, increases their curiosity about the world around them and stimulates their senses. All these, as a result, help in their cognitive development in the growing stages.
So, here are 4 easy peasy (as my little one puts it) ways to help parents struggling with building a connection with nature.
Plant A Garden
Gardening makes for a great opportunity to teach kids about where their food comes from. Let them dig up holes and plant seeds. They will fall in love with nature once they see the first fruits of their hard work rooting from the ground.
Take Them Camping
It is by far the easiest way to get up close to nature. Greet them with bonfires and pack up for a fun filled trip. The more excited they are about the trip, the more they will learn and enjoy. When you are on one, pick different flowers, go looking for animals, swim in the lake, teach them how to set up camp, and help them realize the simplicity life holds.
Take Them To A Farmer’s Market
This should be a must-visit place if you wish your kids to grow up admiring nature and its beauty. The charm of plucking and buying fresh produce allows kids to acknowledge their importance and benefits. All the way when driving up and back to home, you can also talk to them about the origination and growth of plants, their seeding processes, the significance of sunlight, the process of photosynthesis, etc.
Visit A National Park
Always be up for trips to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Even if your kids aren’t excited about them, make sure to take them once in awhile. Introducing them to natural habitats of different animals is a great way to help them learn about nature.