By Jane Marsh
Instant gratification from screens provides kids with an entirely reimagined experience of how to spend leisure time. They value the content from technology more highly, displacing a classic appreciation of nature. It’s time to reinvigorate children with an interest in the outdoors and there are plenty of interactive and creative ways to do so in your backyard. Before you know it, your kids will voluntarily go outside instead of exclusively resorting to technology to satisfy their curiosities.
Make Education Hands-On
The best way for learning to come naturally and not feel forced is by incorporating joy and fun into the adventure. This changes their perspective on education by creating more involved, hands-on experiences. One way to do this is by elevating your backyard into an educational space designed to engage their senses and take advantage of their desire to explore.
Try building obstacle courses or creating nooks for them to examine. Climbing over small rock walls can show them cool textures and shapes while exposing the biodiversity nestled between crevices like moss and friendly insects.
Children will gradually feel this development as they hone their motor, problem-solving and investigative skills. This growth will only tempt them to continue safe and respectful interactions with nature.
This hands-on education only increases in value if there are experiences in the backyard they can only obtain outside. They may have access to a slide or swing set that gives them a great view of the birds or stars in the sky which can’t happen if they stayed inside. Maybe they’re drawn to soil and mud, digging around to see what lies underneath. The novelty may keep interests piqued.
You can also spread around tools like sticks or watering cans to encourage interactivity, allowing their imagination to roam with found toys instead of store-bought alternatives. This mentality can translate indoors, allowing them to discover new ways to engage with household and natural items.
Incorporate the Modern World
Creating interest in nature for kids is possible, even with a reliance on technology to satisfy their attention. One way to make the outdoors more intriguing is by incorporating technology to appeal to that sensibility. Doing so can include:
- Setting up a geocaching-style scavenger hunt.
- Hosting a livestream party to see what a homemade birdcatcher can bring.
- Letting them draw the leaves they find outside on a tablet.
- Taking photographs of interesting critters or flowers.