With urbanization and the prevalence of technology today, a good number of children — especially those growing up in big cities – have very little experience with the outdoors. Their world consists primarily of going to school and coming home, while weekends are often spent in front of screens. Hence, very few children have had the experience of going out of town and being in the company of nature’s elements.
However, exposing your children to the outdoors is crucial for their holistic development. Not only will this feed their sense of curiosity, but studies have shown that outdoor activities can do wonders for their physical and mental health. Furthermore, outdoor activities are not exclusively for children; adults can participate as well, giving you the perfect opportunity to bond as a family.
Here are some reasons to take a weekend getaway and introduce your children to the outdoors:
Give them the opportunity to exercise
No matter what you do, being in the outdoors means having to walk around. This is the best opportunity to get your children to be physically active, rather than have them be sedentary at home.
There are many activities for everyone, from leisurely walking to hiking and cycling. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even take the family out camping. It is easy to outfit your truck bed with a rack to carry your bikes or any other outdoor equipment you might need. Thus, your children get to explore, keep their bodies healthy, and have fun all at the same time.
Educate them about nature
While they may learn about animals, plants, and the earth in school or from TV, these are no substitutes for the real thing. By observing nature for themselves, your children will have a much better understanding of the different interactions that make up the ecosystem. Not only will this make them more knowledgeable with regards to how life on earth works, but it will also hone their critical thinking skills, something that may not always happen in the classroom.
Most importantly, however, they will learn from a young age the value of all kinds of life. Thus, they will grow up to be adults who are able to look beyond themselves and recognize the significance of nature in our lives, which is more important now than ever.
Foster their sense of wonder and independence
The outdoors has a certain association with freedom and wonder. Whereas spending most of your time indoors going about the same routines daily can feel confining, being in the vastness of the outdoors makes you feel like there is much to do and see. Hence, children will be encouraged to explore and discover the wonders of the outdoors. By allowing them to go off on their own and discover new things for themselves, you also help develop their creativity and independence.
Let them relax and have fun
Out in the wild, your children are free to be themselves, have fun, and let loose. Unlike many other activities in their lives today, there is no “failing” grade, and they do not have to deal with any form of stress or pressure. This lets them know that it is acceptable to take a break, unwind, and recharge as well. With this in mind, they will be equipped with greater mental and emotional stability as they grow up and find themselves in stressful situations.