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Tips to encourage your child’s love for the outdoors

Children today are constantly bombarded by technology and screens, leaving little room for outdoor exploration and appreciation. However, as parents, it is important to understand just how vital outdoor activities are for our children's physical and mental wellbeing. 

Physical benefits. Outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and swimming provide children with a fun and engaging way to stay active. Physical activity not only helps with weight management, but also promotes proper growth and development of muscles and bones.

Mental health benefits. Spending time in nature has been linked to improved mental health and emotional wellbeing. Outdoor activities help children reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase self-esteem.

Environmental awareness. By exploring and appreciating nature, children develop a sense of environmental awareness and conservation values. They become more conscious of the impact that human activities have on the environment and may be more motivated to protect it in the future.

Creating positive outdoor experiences

Introducing nature. Introducing nature from a young age can instill a love and appreciation for the great outdoors that will last a lifetime. Start by incorporating outdoor activities into your child's routine from the very beginning with small and simple things that are easy for you as a parent, and not too much for the child, depending on the weather.

Age-appropriate activity understanding. Ensure that the outdoor activities you plan are age-appropriate so that your child can enjoy and engage with nature in a safe and fun way. Exploring local nature spots and parks is a great way to introduce your child to the wonders of nature right in your own backyard and community.

Encouraging curiosity and learning

Encouraging curiosity and a sense of wonder about the natural world is key to nurturing a love for the great outdoors. Consider incorporating educational activities into your outdoor adventures; if you need any hints, check out a few of our other blogs, which come packed with family fun ideas. Help your children learn about the different plants and animals they encounter and teach them about the environmental impact of human activities.

Making nature playful and engaging

Finding outdoor families. Finding like-minded families who enjoy spending time outdoors can not only provide social and emotional benefits for children, but can also make outdoor play more enjoyable.

Playing nature-related games and activities. Playing games and engaging in nature-related activities, such as scavenger hunts and bug-catching, can make outdoor exploration fun, playful, and engaging.

Art and creativity in nature. Encourage your child's artistic side by bringing art supplies on outdoor adventures and have them create nature-inspired artwork.

Embracing technology to appreciate nature

Using nature apps and online resources. Technology can be used to enhance your child's outdoor experience. Nature apps and online resources can provide information about local parks and nature trails, as well as provide educational content about the natural world.

Photography and nature journaling. Encourage your child to document their outdoor adventures by taking photos and keeping a nature journal. This can be a great way to help them connect with nature on a deeper level.

Connecting with nature-focused communities online. Joining online communities focused on nature appreciation can provide you and your child with inspiration, ideas, and support for your outdoor adventures.

Dealing with challenges and setbacks

Overcoming fear of insects and wildlife. For some children, fear of insects and wildlife may pose a challenge to outdoor exploration. By educating your child about the different animals they may encounter and helping them understand their role in the ecosystem, you can help alleviate these fears.

Weather-related considerations. Weather is another potential challenge to outdoor exploration. By ensuring that you and your child are properly dressed and prepared for various weather conditions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Addressing any negative experiences in nature. 

If your child has had a negative experience in nature, take the time to address and discuss their concerns. Addressing their fears and concerns can help them feel more comfortable and confident in their outdoor experiences.

Finding the time. With busy schedules and a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete, finding time for outdoor play can be a challenge. Try to prioritize outdoor activities and make time for them in your family's schedule. Take a walk to a nearby park, play in the backyard, or find a trail that you and your family can do for a little bit each week.

Celebrating outdoor adventures

Creating a family nature scrapbook or journal. Celebrate your outdoor adventures by creating a family nature scrapbook or journal. This can be a great way to look back on your family's outdoor experiences and relive the memories.

Framing and displaying nature-inspired artwork. Encourage your child's creativity and celebrate their love for nature by framing and displaying their artwork throughout your home.

Nurturing a love for the great outdoors in your children not only promotes physical health, but also has numerous mental, emotional, and educational benefits. By overcoming barriers to outdoor exploration and creating positive outdoor experiences, parents can help instill a sense of environmental awareness and conservation values in their children that will last a lifetime. Encourage curiosity and foster a love and appreciation for the natural world, and celebrate your family's outdoor adventures in a variety of fun and creative ways. Your children will thank you for it.


Tiera is a regular contributor to the Wild | Life. The Wild | Life was created to make outdoor play fun, easy, and adventurous. Wild | Life believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to explore the outdoors. They have interactive field guides and all the best tools, gear, and toys to inspire outdoor play. Learn more at


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