Even though many parents are afraid of taking their kids outside, away from home and their comfort zone, it is true that outdoor activities can benefit kids’ development in more ways you can imagine. I have always appreciated nature because it indeed has so much to offer, however, if your kids are not outdoor enthusiasts, don’t worry – you can definitely change that. Here are four tips on how to accomplish that.
Talking and Listening as the Key to Success
If you want communication to be successful, it is important that you talk with your kids and listen what they have to say. Make sure that you always explain everything in advance, so that they know what to expect and feel comfortable with. Make them a part of the decision-making process, and everything will be much better – kids will feel like they are contributing, which will make them love those outdoor activities you have planned on.
Everything Should Be About Having Fun
Once the children know what you have prepared for them, it is essential that you make those outdoor activities as fun as possible, especially at the beginning – so that they can gain only positive experiences from them. If you take the kids out and they have a bad time, that trip will turn into a disaster soon enough, which will probably result in giving up. Don’t let that happen and start with simple yet exciting activities they can easily keep up with.
Bribe Them Strategically
I strongly advise bringing some motivators, such as your little ones’ favorite candies or healthy snacks. These will help them refuel much faster, plus the fact that they will create positive associations for the children. Give away candy bars and M&M’s strategically, for example, when you reach a particular point at your hiking route. You can also place those goodies on rocks or tree stumps so that the kids can find them all by themselves. That will enhance their outdoor experience even more.
Choose Activities Appropriate to Your Environment
The choice of outdoor activities will largely depend on the environment you live in. A long walk in the woods outside of your town will be just perfect for the beginning, especially if there are some natural wonders kids can further explore, such as streams or waterfalls. On the other hand, mountain climbing is great for adrenaline rush – just make sure that you don’t go too extreme. If you live near the water, some sports related to it may be just perfect for your new adventure. For example, paddle boarding can be the right choice for you, so get those stand-up paddleboards and head straight to the beach! Your kids will be thrilled about their new experiences!
Aside from playing in your backyard, you should always involve your children into more engaging activities such as hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and even surfing (if possible), because you will teach them to connect with nature and respect it, even more, that way. After all, everything is about having fun, spending some quality time together, and making memories – don’t forget that!
Guest post by Zara Lewis, a contributing blogger for High Style Life and full-time mama of two little ones.