You can do many things to ensure your child’s well-being, and one of the best ways is getting them to spend time in the great outdoors.
Why is it important? Let’s discuss this in detail.
When playing outside, kids explore the natural environment and experience new adventures. From a health perspective, being close to nature helps them understand the importance of freedom and exploration.
Moreover, enjoying the great outdoors also helps kids absorb Vitamin D for stronger bones and better immunity against diseases.
As per the optometry and vision science study, kids who play outside showed marked improvement in sensory skills compared to those playing indoors. Playing in an open area activates senses from sight to taste and hearing, contributing to the development of perceptual abilities. At the same time, children glued to their devices have underdeveloped perceptual abilities.
Getting children away from screens and into the backyard alone might be a challenge, but there are ways to make the outdoors more engaging than the indoors.
Ways to Get Kids to Enjoy the Outdoors
Whether planning a family trip or setting up a scavenger hunt, there is something in store for every child. Check out a few ideas.
1. Plan a Family Vacation
As per research, a holiday makes a child happier and smarter. So, if you are interested in exploring nature, plan your next vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennesee.
Once you’re there, the first attraction should be the Gatlinburg Skylift Park, a fantastic mountain-top destination home to a stunning walking trail, viewpoints of the Great Smokies, and the largest pedestrian bridge in North America.
While exploring this beautiful attraction, your kids will engage in their surroundings, find ample ground to run around, and interact with mother nature.
But make sure you book Gatlinburg Skylift Park tickets at least a week before you’re there, as they sell out quickly.
2. Go for a Scavenger Hunt
As a parent, you can make the most out of your child’s time by going on a scavenger hunt. To make the experience more exciting, list things for your children to look out for. It could be a shiny object or something that holds liquid.
Scavenger hunts help reinforce lessons taught by parents in practical ways, leading to increased retention of lessons. These activities also help children develop problem-solving skills tangibly, as participating in a group scavenger hunt teaches kids the value of teamwork besides promoting social interaction.
Teamwork is essential throughout a child’s life, so what better way than arranging a scavenger hunt? Other than instilling problem-solving skills, scavenger hunts also have health benefits.
3. Go Fruit or Vegetable Picking
Fruit or vegetable picking is a great recreational activity for kids. Coming home with a basket of food that kids gather on their own instills a sense of accomplishment in them and makes them realize the value of food.
By going food picking, children can learn to identify different types of foods based on their shape and how they grow.
Moreover, picking fruits and vegetables offers insight into what food looks like, rather than what they see in the supermarket. Food items of various shapes and sizes are likely to pique their curiosity, bombarding their mind with many questions.
As a parent, walking through the farms allows you to teach your kids how plants are harvested and their anatomy. Once your kids are done picking fruits and vegetables, choose a food item and discuss how they would like it prepared.
Moreover, encourage your children to name fruits and vegetables whenever you take them to the grocery store.
4. Try Hiking
Spending active time outdoors is beneficial health-wise for both adults and kids. In today’s day and age, hiking offers plenty of adventures to kids, from traversing rocks to exploring exposed roots and climbing over fallen trees.
For instance, a child climbing over a fallen tree might lose balance. However, quickly stabilizing balance instills confidence as they overcome the obstacle.
Nothing comes close to increasing a child’s curiosity than getting them accustomed to exploring the wildlife, which is why hiking is an excellent way of seeing wildlife, with activities like counting birds or insects helping forge meaningful connections with nature.
5. Try Camping
Besides being an affordable vacation, camping with your kids has several benefits. This will allow you to help the kids understand basic survival skills, like the tools they should carry to make simple meals or start a campfire to keep warm.
Going camping exposes children to new adventures and builds their self-esteem. These skills instill a sense of power in children over their surroundings that they will survive and thrive irrespective of the circumstances.
Remember, children must learn from their mistakes, overcome challenges and learn new things without adult intervention.
Technology has established a firm ground in our lives, inhibiting our minds. Too much screen time leads to disrupted sleep and eating patterns, adversely affecting well-being. Therefore, it is necessary to disconnect from this menace sometimes, especially for children.
Camping is a great, engaging activity that helps disconnect from technology and teaches lessons about simplicity.
6. Set Up a Messy Art Project
An Art Project is one of the most exciting activities that grab every child’s attention. That said, set up a messy art project outside to stimulate kids’ creativity and mental engagement.
Besides protecting your home from random paint spots and general mess, an outdoor art project keeps children entertained.
One of the ideas for an art project you can consider is making action paintings by having your kid dip their hands in paint and make prints on a large piece of paper or canvas.
Parents can set up leaf and flower stamping to make the project more engaging. Likewise, painting rocks can enhance a child’s creativity by using them as a canvas and turning pebbles into game pieces or miniature scenes.
Today, life is much different than it was decades ago. Everyone, from adults to children, prefers staying indoors, watching television, or playing video games in their free time. These stale activities have already started impacting your kids’ overall health.
As a parent, you have a responsibility toward your child’s well-being. One way to ensure your child’s health is to get them to introduce them to mother nature and engage with them through outdoor activities and attractions.
These steps will undoubtedly increase their social skills and learn the importance of fostering relationships.
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