The Nature Cure! 5 Outdoors Activities for Kids
One of the great joys of being a parent is watching your kids explore the great outdoors. But did you know that nature is actually good for their growing bodies and their developing brains, too? Turns out the great outdoors is, well…REALLY great!
Spending time outside gives children:
- Focused attention spans: Research shows that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and symptoms of issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Better physical health: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says childhood obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 30 years. And what’s one of the best forms of exercise? Playing outside!
- Vitamin D: Many kids aren’t getting what they need, but their bodies can make sufficient vitamin D with just a short stint of sun exposure.
- More energy: One study found that being in nature just 20 minutes a day boosts vitality.
- Creativity and unstructured play: Kids are more likely to use their imaginations outside to invent and create while playing.
Ready to reap nature’s benefits? Here are five creative ways for you and your children to enjoy the great outdoors this fall, courtesy of the Children and Nature Network:
- Devise a nature scavenger hunt or a nature bingo card featuring items like leaves, acorns, pine cones, or cool sticks. And then take a walk in your own neighborhood to collect what’s on the list.
- Make a tiny elf or fairy house. Gather sticks for walls, moss for roofs, rocks for steps, pinecones, and so on. Your kids will love creating these tiny houses for imaginary woodland friends.
- Start a rock collection. Toddlers are especially fond of a slow-paced rock hunt. Encourage the kids to select one or two favorite rocks on every hike you take. You can collect them in a glass jar, display them on a shelf, or even label them by location.
- Go on a leaf walk. See how many different kinds of leaves you can find, and then make a festive fall centerpiece or one of these awesome fall crafts.
- Build a lean-to. Gather tall sticks and lay them at an angle against a rock, tree, or even a picnic table. Crawl inside!
But the best advice is to take action in your own backyard! What do your kiddos like to do outside as the weather turns? Let us know below!