How to Instill a Love of the Outdoors in Your Kids
Talk to any outdoor-adventure-loving parent, and they’ll almost certainly tell you that they dream of one day sharing that passion with their kids. But with something so accessible as nature, why wait to learn how to instill a love of the outdoors in your kids? Outdoor activity comes with a host of physical and mental benefits. Teach your kids to love the outdoors now, and gift them with a hobby that they’ll value for the rest of their lives.
Start Young & Start Slow
To help your kids love the outdoors, introduce them to nature’s wonders when they’re young and take things one step at a time. As soon as your kids can walk, start taking them on short, easy hikes, trips to the park, or any other location that will get them outside. Young children don’t have the energy reserves of an adult, but kids are surprisingly hardy. That said, make sure you take things slow, especially when first introducing your kids to hiking and similar activities. The last thing you want is for your kids to dread a trip to the outdoors. Build up to longer trips and harder activities as your kids get older and more comfortable.
Encourage Their Interests
As you introduce your kids to new outdoor activities, notice which ones they seem to like or dislike. If you notice that your child has an affinity for a particular activity, encourage their interests. Do your kids love to bike? Take them on bike rides to exciting locations. When you’re hiking, do they constantly stop to smell the flowers or examine fallen leaves? Let them. If encouraged, this interest in nature may well blossom into a greater love of the outdoors.
Do Outdoor Activities as a Family
What better way to instill a love of the outdoors in your kids than to turn these activities into family expeditions? If you’re looking for fun ideas, going camping as a family is a great one to try. Arranging a family trip will show your kids that you, too, are serious about the outdoors, and it will allow you to share that interest with them. Work up to a camping trip by hiking, biking, or playing games outdoors together as a family. Family outings also provide a special time for families to bond, which kids and parents alike can appreciate and enjoy.