How to Get Your Children Outside and Exploring

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Author: Austin Stanfel

As a child once, we no doubt had imaginary friends and dreamt of going on adventures. Perhaps you once thought of leaving the house and exploring the world. Some of us might’ve tied a knapsack onto a stick and headed out into the world one morning, never to return (at least until we got hungry and headed back home). Or maybe you were one of those children who took a globe and spun it around, plunking your finger down on a place and decided that’s where you wanted to go next.

Regardless, childhood is often a time where we are bursting with imagination and a desire to explore. As adults, we shouldn’t discourage this cat-like curiosity, but instead, we should encourage children to get outside and explore. Through that experience, habits are developed, and these habits can help these little adventurers in having healthier lifestyles as they mature.

Below are a few things that you can do for your children.

Family Activities

When we become parents, our attention starts to shift from ourselves to our own children. It makes sense, so why not have activities where everyone is involved. Make a habit of doing a variety of activities together, ideally outside. It doesn’t always have to be going to a movie or an amusement park, some times biking around the block, building a treehouse, or playing board games can be much fun. In this day and age, those are still exciting, if not more exciting than tapping on an iPhone or tablet all day. Of course, it may be a little jarring at first, but as you get outside more and start to explore, you begin to see how much fun the simple activities like jumping into leaves or playing Frisbee can actually be.

Backyard Camping

Another adventure-filled event is going out and having a traditional camping experience in your own backyard. Of course, you will need to have some more equipment for it, but it’s well worth the investment. You’ll need a tent, pillows, flashlights, a tarp (used to cover the ground), firewood, and most importantly, sleeping bags for everyone. Depending on how your backyard and neighborhood is like, you can do all sorts of activities outside at night. From hiking around in the park or wandering through the woods, there’s plenty of opportunities to explore. You could even capture fireflies in mason jars or look up in the night sky to map out constellations.

Building Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders are surprisingly easy to build, and painting them is much fun as well. It’s a nice DIY project for everyone really. The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of feeder you’d like to make. You actually have a surprisingly large selection of feeders that include feeders that use suet logs, paint cans, PVC pipe, toilet paper rolls, or milk cartons. And that’s only the beginning! Even if you are someone that doesn’t construct much, the tools and the materials are really not that difficult to get. All you need is the material for the feeder, plus some glue and popsicle sticks. You’ll also need a hook and maybe some wire too so you can hang it on a branch. Finish it off with filling it with some bird seeds and you’re done. If you are thinking what’s the point in all this, perhaps you aren’t familiar with the birds singing or haven’t seen the birds up close. It’s a good project and the reward is just as pleasant.

Treasure/Scavenger Hunts

One activity that really encourages children to get out and explore is to get them going on a scavenger or treasure hunt. Create an elaborate story, and depending on the age of your child, let their imagination do the rest: from letting them use their imagination to play the rest of the story, to even leaving clues or items for them to find. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure that each clue that they find can lead them to the next so you can keep the adventure going.