Silhouette of a family under a tree with the moon in background. How Do I Get My Kids Outside?

How Do I Get My Kids Outside?

Inspiring Ways to Get Your

Kids Outside

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.

Boys playing video games. How Do I Get My Kids Outside?

Distracted Parents

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!

Kid playing at the lake are the best times. How Do I Get My Kids Outside?

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!”

Reni and Scampy at the beach, for the newsletter.

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.”

 -Rachel Carson

 

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.

Father and Son at a local park. How Do I Get My Kids Outside?

Discover Scat

 

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.”

-Reni

Suggested Reading

 

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

Tracks, Scats & Signs (Take along Guides) by Leslie Dendy

What Shat That?: A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 

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