• 13/06/2024 00:24

How to Teach Children to Love and Explore Nature: 3 Easy Ways

The appeal of electronics is quite strong, especially when it comes to entertaining children. The problem, however, is that every year our addiction to technology causes future generations to lose touch with outdoor play. Because of this, people are missing out on the benefits of fresh air. Do you want to change this? How to teach children to love and explore nature?

ContentWhat will children gain from going outside? How to teach children to love nature: Model the behavior How to teach children to love nature: make being outdoors fun How to teach children to love nature: Have conversations about nature

WomanEL will share tips from Carlene Fider, Ph.D., a faculty member at Pacific Oaks College, that she prepared for Mindbodygreen. In her opinion, all is not lost.

What will children receive when going outside?

Spending time outdoors will not only help your children physically, but also psychologically. Source: freepik.com

  • “Encouraging children to explore and love nature has many benefits related to their physical, mental and emotional well-being,” – says Faider. “Physically, outdoor activities such as running, climbing and hiking promote movement, helping develop motor skills, coordination and strength.
  • Mentally, spending time outdoors gives children access to natural light and fresh air. It can improve mood and mental clarity while offering a break from the overstimulation of technology. The calming effect of nature reduces stress and anxiety, providing a sense of freedom and space to explore.”
  • She adds: “Outdoor play also gives children the opportunity to expand their physical capabilities, building confidence and resilience as they overcome challenges , such as challenging hikes, or learning new skills, such as cycling.”
  • Experiences in the great outdoors can stimulate creativity and imagination, encouraging children to imagine games, stories and adventures.
  • Outdoor experiences develop a sense of connection and understanding of nature, instilling values ​​of environmental stewardship and responsibility with young years. This may be much needed given the reality of climate change.
  • Socially, outdoor play can teach children valuable skills such as communication, conflict resolution and cooperation (if children participate in activities with peers).
  • Fider says being in nature helps children develop connections with others. the natural world, which may include developing empathy for living things – both plants and animals – and they can learn to protect and conserve the earth.
  • In today's fast-paced, technology-driven society, the simplicity and beauty of nature gives children the opportunity to appreciate the small wonders of life, from the chirping of birds to the vibrant hues of a sunset, greatly enriching their lives.

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How to teach children to love nature: Model the behavior

Leading by example and demonstrating a love of nature is a great way to encourage children's interest in nature. While some of us may not be able to go on hikes or long walks, activities such as caring for plants, gardening, and even stargazing can be good ideas for getting little ones interested in being outdoors and connecting with nature.

Teaching Kids to Love Nature: Make the Outdoors Fun

Whenever possible, plan outdoor activities that are fun and age-appropriate. This could include games, scavenger hunts (shells and rocks or other items found in nature), or outdoor crafts to make outdoor adventures fun and interesting.

Fider notes that parents can even combining technology and nature. For example, let your kids take pictures of things in nature and then create a slideshow about the theme that they can then share with the family.

Teaching Kids to Love Nature: Have Nature Conversations

Finally, Feider says, adults should look for opportunities to talk about nature and be intentional about it. She notes that you don't have to literally be in nature to enjoy and share these experiences.

For example, parents can encourage thoughtful exploration even while traveling in the car. “Talk about what you see from the window – the sun, clouds, birds, trees, sunset, rain, rainbows, etc.,” she says.

This can be a starting point for suggesting going out outside and explore what they saw. Another idea is to encourage children to notice and share observations about seasonal changes, wildlife sightings, or natural phenomena such as lightning.

Not sure what else to do to keep kids occupied during the warmer months? Here we listed interesting options (without gadgets!).

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