These days, 64% of British kids play outside less than once a week. In this era of smartphones and Fortnite, it’s hard to get kids excited about spending time outdoors and this has resulted in something many people are calling ‘nature deficit disorder’ among kids. This is an issue because spending time playing outside can help with your child’s creativity and learning ability as well as their mental wellbeing and self-confidence. It can also help fight medical conditions like childhood obesity and help with stress and your child’s distance vision.
So spending time in nature is clearly very important to your children’s health and development. That’s why you should encourage kids to connect with nature and play outside on a regular basis. In today’s article, we’ll give tips on how to get kids excited about spending time outside and teaching them about the natural world.
Games to play outside
We all have outdoor games from our childhood we loved to play every day. With most kids these days not playing outside on a regular basis, chances are there are some fun, classic outdoor games you could introduce your kids to.
So pass on your childhood favourite games like rounders, Simon Says, Blind Man’s Bluff and Red Light Green Light. These classics are great boredom busters, offer a bit of lighthearted competition and get kids up and moving. You can also join in on the fun yourself with something like a game of hide and seek. Who said playground games are just for kids?
Fun nature projects for kids
Getting the kids involved with some fun little outdoor projects is a great way to feed their curiosity and teach them about nature. Head out and see how many different types of plants, bugs or birds you can identify together. You can even create a little fact-finding sheet prior to your outing for a bit of a nature scavenger hunt. You can take pictures, make drawings or take rubbings of the cool stuff you find. You could even collect leaves and take cuttings of plants and teach your kids to press them.
There are also plenty of fun projects your kids can take part in in your own back garden. Get them to help you set up and maintain a bird feeder or tending to plants you’re growing. Meanwhile, creating a bee-friendly garden with the right flowers and a shallow bee bath is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of nature conservation. To get kids excited about outdoor living, you could encourage them to camp out in the garden with their friends in the summer - they’ll love the sense of independence this gives them. Or, you could even take them on a camping trip to a beautiful, rural location during school holidays.
Nature walks for the whole family
A nice stroll out in nature is a great way to get kids in touch with nature while getting some fresh air and exercise. Choose your route with the shorter legs of your little ones in mind: make sure it’s not too long and that there are good places to take a break along the way if the kids get tired or bored. Packing some tasty and healthy snacks you can enjoy along the way helps motivate kids to get out and moving.
Trying your hand in a bit of foraging with your kids for some bilberries, elderflower, blackberries or mussels helps kids appreciate the link between the food they eat and the natural world around them. You could even plan a visit to a farm to teach kids where their farmed food comes from.
Along the way on your nature walk, encourage your kids to climb trees, or if they are not old enough, make it an adventure by clambering over fallen trees with them. Get them to try their hand at skipping stones, jump in puddles and to not worry about getting a little dirty. With the right clothing and a pair of wellies, there’s no such thing as bad weather! And remember that not all outdoor excursions need to be planned: allowing kids to have some unstructured playtime outdoors is key to building their imagination.
Perfect family glamping holidays
While encouraging kids to spend time outdoors is something that should be a regular occurrence, a rural glamping break is a great way to give kids a healthy dose of outdoor living and spend some quality time together as a family, all in one. Especially if you live in an urban area with limited green space around you, taking a few days to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in favour of the great outdoors helps kids connect with nature and gives the parents a chance to catch their breath, too.
Glamping breaks with Wigwam Holidays® are available in every corner of the UK, with a number of stunning backdrops to choose from. We’re all about making camping cosy with wooden camping pods that have all the essentials, including heating, electricity and even your own en suite bathroom. This way, you can go camping with the kids all year long.
Use your glamping getaway playing with the kids outside, going on hikes and observing the night sky together. Camping or glamping is a great way to get kids excited about the natural world around them in a way they’ll carry with them even once you’re back home. Need some inspiration for your perfect glamping experience? Just click the link below.