The outside world is such a beautiful place – from woods to wide open parkland, from the coast to the inlands and mountains that we have, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy. Persuading the entire family of that, however, can be difficult, particularly when the lure of the screen or smartphone is ever-present. Hopefully, these tips on how to keep your family interested in nature will help them get outdoors for at least some of the time.
There aren’t many opportunities for children to get really dirty these days. Most of the time parents would prefer they stayed as clean and tidy as possible. However, that’s part of the joy of the great outdoors – it is dirty, it is mucky, it is muddy and unpredictable. You might go out looking spick and span and come home looking like a mud monster, but the important thing is that this is okay. In fact, it’s better than okay; it’s perfect. It means that you (and everyone else) has been experiencing nature in its rawest most beautiful form.
So let the kids know that it’s okay (and even expected) to get dirty and that they can explore however they want to. If that means stomping in puddles and climbing moss covered trees, so be it.
Geocaching is a fun past time in which you effectively hunt for ‘treasure’ using GPS signals. An app can be download for your smartphone (or, if you really get into it, you can buy specific devices instead) and you follow the route until you find the cache. It might be hidden well, but there will always be clues. Find it, sign your name on the log sheet, re-hide it in the same place, and set off in search for the next.
Geocaching is ideal for getting even the most reluctant of family members outside. This is walking with a purpose, and you could always try to award prizes for the most caches found.
When you get the hang of geocaching, you might even like to hide your own caches; the thrill of seeing that someone has found it is just as much fun as hunting in the first place. You’ll need to maintain it, though, so that will involve going outside too.
Make A Home Nature Reserve
If you don’t want to stray too far from home, but you still want to get your children outside to breathe in some fresh air for a little while, you can turn your own garden in a private nature reserve by adding a pond from Water Garden.
Ponds attract all kinds of nature including:
- Frogs and tadpoles
Plus of course, you can add fish to your pond to make it even more special. Children will love to engage with the wildlife around the pond, and you can help them understand more about nature by learning about it together. Make sure you add the right safety precautions if you have younger children too, and that way everyone can enjoy it.