It’s no secret our kids learn from us by what we do.
With the allure of new game apps every day, and the hectic pace of our daily lives, getting outside may not seem like the easiest thing in the world to do.
However, it’s for this reason that we need to be ever more diligent about making an effort to put nature in priority, to raise healthy, well-developed, environmentally responsible kids – and we only have a small window of time to do it.
Maybe 13 years, tops.
From their first year to about age 5, those kids are all ours, and they learn best through play. In their worlds at this time, we are their number one. We can start by spending as much time outdoors as we can: going on walks, having picnics, playing in the rain, visiting our parks and playgrounds.
From ages 5 to 10, when friends, extended family, school mates and teachers begin to increase in importance, we can enjoy camping outside, we can talk more about nature, the environment, and how our actions impact our environment.
During this phase, we can make more of an effort to express our beliefs about spending time and developing a relationship with nature for our health, and the health of our planet.
As a family, we can do things like gardening, or taking part in community clean-ups. We can begin to set traditions in nature, like annual camping trips, hiking, or taking time to visit one national park each year.
From 10 to roughly 13, we begin to see that window of opportunity closing where we can help instill a strong dedication to and relationship with nature. As children get to this phase, their need for establishing their own identity becomes stronger. They have less time for family bonding as they immerse themselves in extra-curriculars, time with friends, and school obligations.
It begins with you. Right now.
Do one thing today to spark that passion for nature and the outdoors. Every little bit of time spent, every effort made, and every memory built together outside matters.
What is your favorite activity you take part in with your kids outside? Your post can help another reader!
Photo Credit: joshua-rodriguez-583392-unsplash.jpg