Friday, August 3, 2018

5 Ways to Get the Family Involved in Nature

There are numerous reasons why you should encourage those around you to explore nature, especially your children. Reducing stress, encouraging co-operation and compassion, helping them with their homework and thinking more creatively are just a few of the valid reasons why your kids should be spending their free time outside in green spaces. There are also many vital health benefits such as improved immunity, better eyesight and stronger muscles and bones. If you’re wondering how you can encourage them to put down their mobile gadgets and get outside, here are a few ideas.
 
Indian Echo Caverns, Hershey PA - 2015
Build a Garden Pond
Introduce a water feature into your garden, and you’ll be amazed at the nature it encourages to visit! Young children, in particular, will need constant supervision around any water but this is an ideal opportunity for you to teach them what you know about wildlife. Building a pond doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair; companies such as Water-garden.co.uk can provide all you need to get the project underway.

Take Them Insect Hunting
Ask most kids, and they’ll say they think insects are cool. They might make your skin crawl, but for your kids, insects have the opposite effect. Encourage them out in the garden, armed with a magnifying glass. You’ll have to keep them company though, just in case they encounter something not very friendly! Talk to them about the colours of the insects they find, where they might live and whether they bite or sting. Take their observations back inside and do some research and maybe start a insect album.  

Nature Photography
This is a way of combining their love of the latest gadgets with spending time outdoors. There are some important benefits when kids spend more time in the open air, getting up close and personal with nature. As well as bringing them closer to nature, photography will also give them a sense of purpose and introduce them to a new hobby.
New River Gorge, WV - 2017

Set up a Nature Window in Your Home
It’s possible to bring nature into your home by creating a nature window in your living room or kitchen. In the window, you can have a pair of binoculars or maybe a beginner’s telescope for looking at the stars. Stock it with nature books and a bird identification book. If the weather allows, pitch a tent in the garden. Take a walk around some of the wilder parts of your neighborhood and see what’s lurking in the weeds at the edge of your local park or playground.

Use Apps to Make it More Interesting
If you can’t convince your kids to put their smartphone down, encourage them to use one of the many nature apps that are available. For example, there’s one that will help them identify birdsong. Another will help them learn the names of trees when they upload an image of a leaf. If they’re more interested in the greater universe, many apps will help them to identify stars, planets, and constellations.

It’s a big wide world out there beyond your front door so why not encourage your kids to take advantage of it? As well as the many personal benefits, teaching them respect for the environment is an important lesson to learn for their future.   
Lake Arthur Regatta - Moraine State Park, PA 2014
Lake Arthur Regatta - Moraine State Park, PA 2014
Lake Arthur Regatta - Moraine State Park, PA 2014

17 comments:

  1. These are all awesome tips. I would LOVE to have a nature window with a little nook somewhere in my house. Someday that is my dream.

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  2. I love the ideas you have for getting the kids together and active outside. It seems like a rare thing anymore.

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  3. I would love to build a garden pond with the grandkids. It would be so much fun and add to my landscaping plan in the back yard.

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  4. Just getting out there is the way we get our kids involved in nature. Some of our hikes have taken us to places where they feel as if they are the first ones to discover the area.

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  5. Encouraging an appreciation for photography is a great suggestion for any child. It's a great way to preserve memories and develop creativity as well.

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  6. I love visiting Parks and Lakes with my son and just walking and seeing what we find that we haven't seen before as it leads to new lessons in our Homeschool class.

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  7. My kiddo loves anything to do with nature. Where I live it is typically pretty hot in the summer but when fall and winter and spring, we are outside looking at whatever we can. I love all the ideas you mentioned here! I think we will incorporate a few of these ideas in our daily lives.

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  8. We love to be involved with nature when we travel. We need it to unwind and to expand our vision after driving all day!

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  9. The kids love being outdoors so we spend a lot of time exploring the backyard and our neighborhood. It's good for kids to breathe fresh air so we love spending time in nature.

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  10. This is a good list! My kids would like to do these. My daughter especially likes to go insect hunting.

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  11. These are all wonderful tips. I would love to build a garden pond in our yard. I know the kids would love it.

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  12. These are all great tips. We like to go for a hike but I love the idea of adding photography. I bet my kids would love it.

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  13. I love the idea of a nature window because it's constant. I think will pass on the insect option!!

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  14. They look like they have been having an active summer! Kids really need to stay busy in the heat!

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  15. We love getting outdoors and exploring. All these places sound right up our alley! Thanks for sharing, I'll have to check out some of these.

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  16. Such good idea! We live in Manhattan and one of our favorite ways to spend a saturday is taking the train up north for a family hike. Even when you live in the urban jungle, you can get out and explore!

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  17. Those are some great ideas. I've love to build a garden pond of my own someday.

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It's always a pleasure to read what you have to say! Thank you!

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