4 Ways to Nurture Your Child’s Love of Nature

4 Ways to Nurture Your Child's Love of Nature
Written by Allison Wilkinson

If you want your children to appreciate the great outdoors, simply lead by example and provide plenty of opportunities to experience nature.

If you want to nurture your children to appreciate the great outdoors, simply lead by example and provide plenty of opportunities to experience nature.

Your little one’s curiosity will take it from there. Here are some fun, family-friendly activities to discover all of the wonder and beauty of Mother Nature:

Plant a Vegetable Garden

There’s something magical about being able to plant seeds in the ground and nurture them until they produce something that can nourish and sustain you. In addition to culturing general wonder in Mother Nature’s bounty, the act of growing your own food also helps develop a healthy appreciation of unprocessed foods. Often, even the pickiest eaters will give something new a try after spending weeks tending to the vegetables in their garden. Bring your little ones with you to the garden center to select everything you want to plant and get them a set of gardening tools. After you show the kids a few examples of proper spacing and planting techniques, let them get their hands dirty and plant on their own. Review the basics of weeding as the weeds spring up. This activity teaches patience and responsibility as the kids maintain the garden diligently and wait each week for the harvest to mature.

Go Fishing

Like gardening, fishing also requires ample patience and self-control. The waiting is worth it once they feel that tug on the line and the accompanying feeling of adrenaline and accomplishment. Teach your little ones how to bait a hook and the basics about fishing lures and the different types of bait. Start small, with afternoons of fishing at a local creek or lake, and then work up to a boating trip. You can find a local spot that rents boats or make a weekend of it and travel to a well-known fishing destination. Take the extra effort to get a boater licence, so you can operate the boat yourself instead of going on a fishing tour. This way, you can enjoy more one-on-one time with your children.

Spend the Weekend Camping

Get away from the computer, your phone and the iPad and enjoy a weekend unplugged with the family in the great outdoors. Let the kids pick out new sleeping bags and get a tent that fill fit the entire family. If you kids are older, you may even want them to have a tent of their own. Not only will this trip open their eyes to all of nature’s beauty, but it will also be a fantastic learning experience for survival skills. Before you go, create a checklist of all of the things you want to teach the kids on your camping trip to make sure you don’t forget anything. Include lessons, like how to build a fire without matches, how to protect yourself from wild animals and how to purify water for drinking.

Take a Hike

Take the road less traveled and instill a love of hiking in your children. This is an excellent opportunity to get exercise without signing your children up for yet another extracurricular activity. Find local hiking trails and keep the degree of difficulty minimal to start so you kids can walk the entire trail on their own. Allow plenty of time to hike and let them set the pace. Encourage them to point out plants and animals they recognize and ask questions to make each hike a learning experience as well.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

As a new mom, it took a lot for me to accept that I cannot do it all. Between taking care of my son, focusing on my relationship with my husband, exercise, cooking, cleaning, work and social commitments, it is impossible to focus on all.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

My own resourcefulness and my family who are constantly inspiring me with new ways to use that trait.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Becoming a mother. From the act of growing a tiny human to keeping myself as healthy as possible while doing it, and then having a serene and beautiful home birth, it was the most incredible experience and a real achievement in terms of personal growth as well. My next goal is more fitness focused; I want to run a marathon. I’ve completed a few half marathons before (and while pregnant), but I would like to get 26.2 miles under my belt.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

Impatience. As for my quirk, I strive to know as much as I can about anything that catches my interest, which gets time-consuming and can be unimportant — but it certainly makes for interesting conversation.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my people.

About the author

Allison Wilkinson

Allison is a WAHM, an explorer, an amateur chef and a fitness buff. You can find her Instagramming photos of her (adorable) son or researching everything from the latest parenting theories to healthy hacks for desserts.

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