Connection with nature is one of the most important things in a child’s development, not only for physical and emotional well-being but also for a healthy perspective on life. Children in urban environments have too little contact with nature. On one hand, most of their regular activities are indoor activities which keep them away from nature, and on the other hand, green spaces are less available.
Parents play an important part in teaching children, from an early age, how to connect with nature, how to respect nature, and why it is essential to always make time for outdoor activities. People who grow up learning about nature and connecting with it become responsible adults who care about the environment and who live a healthier lifestyle.
Connection with nature is good for kids
Nature cannot be excluded from a child’s normal and healthy development. Even if they only have a small park to play in, kids need outdoor activities, the space, and the freedom which only natural environments can provide. Nature is also a great way for them to engage all their senses, to live in the moment, and become much more aware of everything that is going on around them.
The sense of freedom and expansion that is linked to being out in nature is actually an important factor in intellectual development. Kids improve their focus, they are able to pay more attention to things around them, and their learning capacity is also increased. Allowing your kids to spend more time outdoors can even help with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms.
The lack of physical fitness in children is one of our society’s biggest problems because it leads to health issues in the future. It is a known fact that modern children spend most of their time indoors, in front of a screen, which affects their physical development also. Kids are meant to spend a lot of time outside, playing and enjoying the fresh air, but this is not always the case.
More than that, children often experience a restrictive environment where their imagination and natural curiosity are not at all stimulated. Kids need to explore their surroundings and discover the magic that is hidden in nature. Being out in nature and learning about nature will encourage them to want to know more, to become more active and more curious.
Another important aspect is that we need to teach kids to connect with nature for the sake of our planet as well. Ecological awareness is essential for the next generations, and it begins with a healthy connection with nature in childhood. Teaching your kids how to love and respect nature is not only beneficial for them but also important for the environment and the planet.
Go camping more often
Camping is a profound experience that involves more than just connecting with nature. It’s also about becoming more skilled, learning to adapt in various situations, understanding what responsibility means, and bonding with family members. If you are new to camping and want to learn more about it, thetrailgirl.com is a great resource for camping tips and tricks.
Planning an exciting camping trip for the entire family will definitely spark your kids’ interest and it will seem like a great adventure. Remember to include fun activities and interesting places to visit along the way. In any case, children will love exploring the camping area and the surrounding areas, as well as learning new skills and becoming more self-reliable.
Help kids identify plants and animals
All children love to explore and find out new, exciting things. Every time you are outside, even if it is just at the nearest park, make sure to tell them the names of several flowers, trees, bugs, or animals that are in that area. This helps kids connect faster with each plant or animal, and they will also be proud to learn new information.
It doesn’t even require much effort, because kids tend to be curious about every little bug or flower that they see, and all you have to do is tell them what it’s called so that they can start to identify more and more plants and animals. It’s also a good idea to take your children to places where they can observe animals in their natural environment and find out more about them.
Start a fun hobby or collection
One of the best ways to teach kids to connect with nature is to get them involved in a fun hobby related to it. Photography, for example, is something that most children love. Give your child a basic camera or phone and take photos together when you go camping or to a park. If they have a passion for drawing, you could also inspire them to draw or paint elements from nature.
Kids also love collecting fun stuff, and there are tons of things they could collect from nature. Encourage them to start collecting something, and they will soon become very proud of their personal collection. They could collect various rocks or plants, and this way, they will also learn to identify them.
An important aspect of connecting with nature is understanding the importance of care and respect. Children need to learn what is bad for nature and what they should never do in order to respect nature; when they are able to actually experience the process of life and to see how a seed grows into a plant, they will be able to connect with nature on a deeper level.
If you can, try to garden with your children. Let them play in the dirt and feel the soil with their hands. Tell them about seeds and how they need to be watered regularly. You can even encourage them to start with small experiments, like growing an avocado from an avocado seed.
Kids get really excited about fun experiments, and it’s a great way to learn about nature. Most of all, offer a great example and show your kids how much you love nature.