Engaging in outdoor activities and interacting with nature is good for the whole family – whether you’re in the backyard, a neighborhood park, or an taking an outdoor vacation like tours to the Grand Canyon. Outdoor activities that get the whole family involved pave the way to raising happier, healthier, smarter kids.
Happy kids, happy family
Studies indicate that children benefit by outdoor exploration and play by learning confidence and social skills. Studies also show that these kids tend to be less stressed. In nature, kids and their families get a chance to move at life’s natural pace, where time is less of an issue, boredom is nowhere to be seen, and exploration becomes exciting adventure. Nature play is the chance for little ones to explore on their own terms and conditions with their own choices. They choose what is interesting and fun and build decision making and confidence along the way. Climbing trees, hunting for bugs and tadpoles, and jumping over logs are all examples of activities where children learn about themselves, their decisions, new settings, and nature.
Fight bugs with bugs
Keeping healthy by engaging in outdoor activities is a great way to strengthen the immune system and fight off nasty illnesses. Nothing keeps kids more active than fun and exciting outdoor experiences. Studies show that even as little as 30 minutes of outdoor activity a day can keep kids healthy. Simple things like bike rides around the neighborhood or hiking in a local park make a big difference in teaching kids to live a healthy lifestyle.
When kids engage in nature they see, hear, smell, and touch things simultaneously. They are forced to observe, think critically, and problem solve in the richness of the outdoors. These key elements of outdoor play give kids a complete experience that they don’t get from electronic games or television. The educational and physical opportunities children get from regular outdoor play are numerous and these enhanced skills roll over into scholastic endeavors.
Families can unplug, explore, and relax together when they go outdoors. Simple walks, weekend camping trips near lakes and rivers, and family vacations like Grand Canyon tours are a fun and satisfying way to get the whole family involved. Research indicates that children who spend time with their parents outdoors feel respected and cared for. Kids also learn how to behave and gain a better understanding of familial roles. Everyone benefits from taking the fun outside!