How to Make the Outdoors Fun for Kids
In today’s world of tablets, apps, and cell phones, kids are used to being “plugged in” all the time. But if you love nature and want to encourage that in your kids, how do you get them interested? Here are five ideas for how to make the outdoors fun for kids!
1. Pet Bugs
There’s nothing like getting a kid to appreciate the creepy and crawly types than by getting them emotionally invested in one. (And it’s not a bad idea to introduce them to low maintenance pets.) Stick insects, millipedes, tarantulas, and ants are all great examples of pets that a child can handle. The great thing about bugs as pets is that it not only increases their appreciation for all life, but it also can make them less afraid of these bugs when they’re older.
2. Growing Plants
This activity is a great way to get your child interested in the life of a plant. The trick is to get a plant that keeps the kids interested. If it takes too long to grow or bloom, a child’s attention span is lost and they will miss the mark on why this activity is fun. Try plants that grow quickly and require minimum maintenance beyond watering and feeding. Snap Peas, sunflowers, marigolds, and the snapdragon are all great options. Also, when you are outdoors, plants are everywhere. You can help your child identify growth stages of plants and even photograph them for fun.
Going on a camping trip is a great immersion activity to do with the whole family. Careful planning can make it stress-free so that you can focus on the kids having a great experience. Make trip planning a family affair. Ask the kids for ideas of things to do or see at your destination and make it a fun by having them prepare their own camping gear. While at the campsite, include the kids by indulging their desire to be involved in the “adult” camping stuff. Assign them some meaningful camp chores, such as gathering firewood or helping prepare dinner. And you can’t forget s’mores… lots of s’mores.
4. Scavenger Hunt
Sometimes when kids are outdoors, they say they are bored or not having fun. A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep them engaged in their time outdoors! They will keep their eyes peeled and stay alert, so they can be the first to find all the things on their list. Look for wildlife. Check out bugs. Examine rocks. Identify birds, flowers, clouds, and constellations. Show interest in things that interest them and make it competitive!
5. Keep the Tradition
If camping or RV road trips have been a tradition in the family, do your best to keep that tradition alive. Get excited for the trip as you plan for it and be sure to involve the kids in the planning process. Then they can feel excited for the trip! As the tradition happens every summer or every year for a holiday, they will come to look forward to it every time. Even if they whine and complain, family trips are more significant than they realize. While on your trip, take time to pause, enjoy, and make lots of memories.
All of these activities show how to make the outdoors fun for kids and create family memories that will last a lifetime.