Spending time outside with children is not only beneficial for their development but can also be a fun and bonding experience for the whole family. Here are some tips to help you spend more time outdoors with children:
Create the Intention
First, you must set the intention. Set a goal, and decided when you will fit that time in. If needed, write a schedule. Once you get going, it will become an effortless habit. Habits take time to form, so be patient with yourself and your family as they adjust.
An easy way to spend more time outside is to share your meals outside. This can be on your patio, or during a nature walk. This shared meal time creates opportunity for family relationships to grow.
Create Themed Nature Walks
What are you studying in your homeschool? What is your child actively curious about? Create a themed nature walk around this theme, or even their current favorite book. Alphabet Forest has a themed nature walk for every lesson.
Create an Inviting Natural Space
If you have a backyard or outdoor space, transform it into a kid-friendly space with a sandbox, swings, playhouse, or other outdoor toys that encourage imaginative play. If you do not have a backyard, go to the same park every day, at the same time. Chances are you will run into other families who visit that park at that time every day, and can initiate a connection.
Involve Children in Planning
Let children have a say in choosing outdoor activities. Ask them what they would like to do and involve them in planning the day’s adventure.
Plan a camping trip, even if it’s just in your backyard. Camping provides a unique opportunity for children to experience nature up close and learn valuable outdoor skills.
Lead By Example
If your child never sees you reading a book, chances are they will be less likely to read themselves. The same is true with spending time outside. Children look to the adults around them through actions, not words. Share your enthusiasm with nature with your children.
Involve children in gardening activities. They can help plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs, and learn about the growth process and sustainability.
Ensure you have the necessary gear for outdoor adventures, such as sunscreen, hats, water bottles, and appropriate clothing. Being prepared makes outdoor time more comfortable and enjoyable. Have gear for all types of weather conditions so you are more likely to venture out during the snow or rain.