Getting the kids outdoors
Getting the kids outdoors and away from the temptations of screens and lazing around on the sofa is becoming a bigger deal these days. Thankfully at present our two are still quite open to going outside of their own accord and love interacting with nature. Often in the form of hunting the bugs and beasties that live in our garden or in the woods nearby.
So what are some top tips for getting the engaged with nature? When our two were little, like many parents even a trip to the park became a half day activity as the walk there and the walk back became an integral part of the expedition. We explored and got enthusiastic about many random things. Our eldest loved hunting for slugs and in a damp woodland getting one hundred metres could often take a very long time. However now, they are both used to being outside, playing in the dirt and mud. Exploring and hunting for the bugs and beasties that can often be found under a fallen bit of wood, in a ditch or under a stone. Our expeditions can become longer and involve hills without too much complaint. They have had a consistent outdoor childhood.
There is a lovely website and movement happening at present that is worth a read about. 1000 hours outside are encouraging parents to try to ditch the screens and get outside for the average time that a child will spend looking at a screen (1200 hours per year if you are interested) They have a great wee tracker sheet that you can download and follow along with. Yes I know it is now March and we are three (!!!) months into the year already, but how about starting now if you haven't already. I haven't been using the tracker myself yet, but make sure that our kids are outdoors as much as possible getting as many experiences within our beautiful natural world.
If we don't engage our children with nature, how on earth are they going to know what to do with it as they grow up?