Positive interactions with the natural environment are an important part of healthy child development, and these interactions enhance learning and the quality of life over a lifetime. Here are some things your children will learn by interacting with you and with nature: joy, sharing thoughts and feelings, curiosity, and gratitude.
Sharing nature with your children isn’t something that experts need to do. There are many ways that parents can be outside with their children. Here are some suggestions:
- Fly a kite at the beach
- Visit a local park
- Make a fort in your backyard
- Ride your bike or take a walk on a local trail
- Swim in the sound or the lake (maybe just in the summer)
- Explore your backyard woods to discover plants
- Plant some flowers or a garden
Because children learn best through direct, concrete experiences, they need to be outdoors to learn about it. Simple experiences with the grass, trees, and insects in environments close to home or school rather than spending time and energy arranging for day trips to unfamiliar places your child may seldom visit is more beneficial. A one-time trip to a park or nature preserve is great, but it’s not enough. If you can, get out on an almost daily basis.