This post is all about 4 Fun Ways To Develop Your Children’s Love Of Nature! Whether your little one is an eager adventurer or generally glued to a sofa, encouraging a love of the outdoors comes with a multitude of benefits for young minds and bodies. Not only can an affinity with nature have a positive impact on their mental and physical health (from reducing anxiety to boosting their immune system), it can develop their cognitive abilities, grow their capacity for compassion, and even teach them important social skills.
4 Fun Ways To Develop Your Children’s Love Of Nature
So, if your child needs a little encouragement when it comes to embracing everything the natural world has to offer (or if you just want to enliven their already growing passion for the wild stuff), it pays to add a big dollop of fun into the mix! With these four exciting ideas for wild playtime and adventure, they’ll be learning, growing, and developing a love of nature faster than you can say “itsy, bitsy spider”.
Create a wildlife haven in your garden
You don’t have to venture further than your own backyard (literally) to have a genuinely wild time with your kids! There is all manner of critters and crawlies just waiting to be discovered amongst the soil and the shrubs in your garden. There are also plenty of ways you can entice even more wild visitors: get your kids to help you add some wild plants and flowers or construct a cozy wildlife-friendly home for bugs or hedgehogs.
And to encourage guests of the feathered variety, the RSPB has a range of bird boxes and hanging bird tables for your outdoor space. No garden? No problem! Hang a bird feeder from a window or balcony and encourage your little ones to keep an eye out for those hungry (not angry) birds!
Go on a scavenger hunt
For an afternoon of adventure (and a bit of amateur wildlife sleuthing), a nature-themed scavenger hunt is a perfect way to get kids’ minds whirring, and their bodies moving. and their imaginations sparking – all in a fun and inexpensive fashion. All you’ll need is a nearby green space (a wood, a nature reserve. or even your own garden), a pencil and paper, and a beady eye for spotting all things wild and wonderful (a magnifying glass could come in handy, too).
Simply create a checklist of the flora, fauna, and natural objects they’re likely to encounter (anything from acorns to pine cones and from spider webs to animal prints) and set your children the task of finding everything on the list. The first one to check off the whole list gets extra sprinkles on their ice cream!
Go rock pooling or pond dipping
Live near a beach? Lucky you! This is the perfect spot for nature-loving (or nature-phobic) kids to get in touch with their wilder sides. A day by the seaside offers plenty of opportunities for fun activities and wildlife encounters, from scouring the shoreline for their favorite shells to paddling (or even snorkeling) in the shallows. Rockpools offer an intriguing insight into life beneath the waves, so rock pooling is a super-fun way for kids to discover curious underwater critters like crabs, starfish, and anemones whilst educating them about coastal wildlife.
If you live inland, pond dipping is just as fun! You’ll probably want to bring along a net and a shallow tray for catching and observing their discoveries, which could be anything from newts to frogs to freshwater shrimp (there’s so much to find).
Get a little creative
A love of the outdoors nurtures creative minds, so encouraging arty and crafty pursuits (with an emphasis on all things wild, of course) is a great way of keeping your little ones connected with nature.
If you want to take your at-home art club outside, why not try some bark rubbing (you’ll just need colored crayons and paper)? Alternatively, you could collect the best-looking rocks, leaves, and pine cones to create mini-masterpieces like painted rock faces, leaf monsters, and pinecone owls!
Even on a rainy day, bust out the paintbrushes, don your aprons, and paint your favorite animals, flowers, and natural landscapes. You could even act as sous-chef to your own little baker and help them make some wildlife-themed treats (who’s for hedgehog cupcakes or ladybug cookies?).
If you’re keen to turn your little ones into little nature lovers and foster their passion for the wild, wild world, you won’t go far wrong with these fun, creative, and inspiring activities for kids of all ages. Have fun and go wild!