How Do I Get My Kids Outside?
Inspiring Ways to Get Your
Children love to play and run outside. You may have fond childhood memories of playing in woods, climbing in trees or planting flowers.
As children get older, especially in today’s world, they may become more and more removed from nature. Being indoors has become more popular than playing carefree, outside. This disconnection comes at the expense of their physical and psychological well-being.
Being an earth child is our innate nature. Virtually everyone is at peace on a lake, hiking in the woods, or staring at a heavenly sunset over the ocean. We are connected to the earth in many ways and it is essential that children stay connected to its beauty and its magic.
Parents often become distracted with careers, everyday chores or hobbies, and forget they too need to commune with nature. Your child will model your behavior. If you have a love for the outdoors, your child will too. There is always an opportunity to show them the joy of nature. (Weather permitting.)
These tips from my years of raising kids, are great ways to get your kids outside:
Kids Need a Vision Quest
Whether you live in the country or city you can generally find a space in nature. Kids love to go on a nature mission.
A child has an incredible imagination.
It should be encouraged and praised. My boys would play outside for hours and have the most amazing stories to tell.
Pitch a tent. Sleeping outside is an adventure for kids and creates memories they’ll never forget. Fresh air, good sleeping and hopefully, time for you to take a long relaxing bath!
Eat, Study, Learn
Meals taste better and are so much more enjoyable when taken outdoors. Schoolwork, relaxing in the shade of a tree, or reading a good book are much more enjoyable in the company of nature. Read about nature with your child.
Grow a Garden
Children love to plant seeds and watch them grow. You can start seeds indoors, plant them in pots or plant your own garden. Kids love to eat. Plant some vegetables and fruits. Tending their own bit of earth is a wonderful way to nurture a child’s love for the natural world. My youngest son had his own flower garden for many years. He was delighted each year as “Sam’s Garden,” once again bloomed into a beautiful masterpiece.
I have loved and used herbs in healing for many years and as my children were growing up I sought to teach them about the native medicinal plants in our own backyard. Rural Minnesota had an abundance of healing herbs and at every opportunity we were picking early spring dandelions, purslane and even stinging nettle. A walk through the woods was often interrupted by a resounding, “It’s a biter plant mom!”
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“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.”
Visit Parks and Return Often
Children look forward to outings where they can observe the changes in growth cycles and seasons, observe what you see and pose questions that will inspire their curiosity and facilitate learning. Bring along a book on native trees or plants.
Sounds crazy, but kids love to talk about poop. My youngest sure did, and we had a lot of fun identifying the odd mixtures of seeds, nuts and berries in each peculiar mound we discovered.
Fostering a love for the outdoors will enhance the bond between you and child and create a lifetime of reverence, not only for nature, but for all living things. Children raised to respect their environment, respect themselves and others.
“Our relationships with others and everything we see, is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.”
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