Introducing Young Children to the Outdoors

March 31, 2020

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man with chlid

For a child, even the tiniest things can be exciting. Introducing your children to the outdoors is a wonderful opportunity for them to engage in learning in today’s entertainment-driven world. Below are some surefire tips to ease kids into outdoor exploration before setting them free.

How to Introduce Children to the Outdoors 

First and foremost, make sure young children have dressed for the weather beforehand. Once outside, guide children’s exploration of the outdoors by:

  • Using fun activities like Outdoor Bingo to spark interest: Outdoor Bingo and other hiking games are excellent ways to introduce children to the outdoors in a way that’s fun and also challenging. Award badges for things like completing a long hike or spotting wildlife. 
  • Encouraging them to touch and lift outdoor objects: Inspire your child to examine all sides of an object. For example, you could guide your son or daughter to lift or push a small log to observe what’s underneath. Afterward, instruct your child to put the wood back in its original position, so he or she understands that not disturbing creature’s homes is essential. 
  • Helping them draw conclusions about what they observe: The best learning occurs when children come to conclusions themselves. Use open-ended questions and model your thinking to get them to exercise their memory. Try saying something like, “The leaves on the trees are red. Do you remember what color they were the last time we took a walk?”
  • Exercising patience: Remember, introducing your child to the outdoors is all about them. If they want to call it a day and go home, or get hungry or thirsty, respect their tolerance.
  • Using snacks to amp up the fun: Who doesn’t love s’mores? Bringing some tasty snacks along can go a long way in helping to create a positive first impression of the outdoors for your child. 

Tips for Introducing Children to Nature

It’s crucial to exercise some caution when exploring with your child outdoors. Encourage young children to wear light-colored garments — and ones you don’t mind getting soiled — to ward off insects. Teach your son or daughter to:

  • Be wary of poisonous snakes, scorpions, brown recluse spiders, and black widow spiders. 
  • Stay away from poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy when foraging.
  • Keep their shoes inside after an outdoor excursion. If they do leave their footwear outside, make sure each shoe is clear of insects and debris before your child puts them back on.

Acquaint Your Child With Nature on Your Next Camping Trip 

if you’ve tried the above tips and want to take outdoor exploration to the next level, then planning your child’s first camping trip may be in the cards. Camping and hiking are excellent opportunities to introduce children to all facets of the outdoors, including plant and wildlife identification, as well as what to do in certain situations to stay safe. 

At DutchWare, we have all the lightweight, durable, and easy-to-use camping gear you need for a successful trip. Stock up on some outdoor gear today or contact us for any questions related to our products. 

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