5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Kids About the Great Outdoors

National Great Outdoors Month

June has been proclaimed as the Great Outdoors Month. This is a perfect time to share the glory of nature with your child!

There are plenty of reasons why you should pack your stuff and enjoy the Great Outdoors with your kids.  Here are just a few of them:

  1.       Manage Your Kid’s Excessive Use of Technology

There are so many distractions these days competing for your child’s attention.  Gadgets, video games, the Internet, you name it, they’re all out there. And you know, once your child gets their hands on any of it, they give it their undivided attention.

There’s nothing wrong with exposing your kids to technology.  But too much of anything can negatively impact your kid, physically, socially and emotionally.

What is alarming though, is how children spend so much less time outside the home and seldom interact with kids their age. (Sometimes, they don’t even talk to their own parents!)  Technology is creating a reclusive generation who’d rather spend time in front of a mobile phone or a computer monitor. Even recess has been reduced or eliminated at many schools, further reducing the time spent outside.

Want to prevent this gloom and doom horizon? You can, if you manage how your kids use technology. Giving them interesting alternatives such as exploring the Great Outdoors tops the list.

If you have limited time because of work, look into having your child attend a child care program.  There are child care centers that offer outdoor activities in their curriculum.

  1.       Explore the Grandness of Mother Nature

The US is well known for its majestic outdoors. Go explore some of it! Kids can learn a lot from actual, experiential discovery. Going camping, fishing, or just playing catch in a neighborhood park? Being outside gives you and your child the opportunity to be one with nature.

Imagine your child responding to a live butterfly flying above her head, instead of watching some video about insects on the web.  It’s amazing to see your child discover new things about nature. Better yet, you’re there to teach your kid about nature itself!

  1.       Bonding with Family & Friends

This June is the best month to bond with your child together with friends and other family members. During the National Great Outdoors celebration, there are plenty of fun activities you and your child can enjoy, such as:

  •         Boating
  •         Camping
  •         Family Fun
  •         Fishing
  •         Hiking
  •         Stewardship

Ask the director of the child care center your kid is attending if they offer any of these outdoor activities and how you and your kid can make the most of it.  Child care centers often align their activities with the Great Outdoors Month celebration, by including field trips to parks and other outdoor activities. And most centers need and appreciate volunteers to join them on these field trips, so ask how you can help!

Spending quality time with your kid this month while being out in nature is a wonderful and enriching experience.  Your child is guaranteed to enjoy endless opportunities for adventure, recreation, and renewal of family ties.

  1.       Health Benefits

There’s no denying taking long walks outside can result in long-lasting and far-reaching health benefits.  Nature offers an opportunity to explore and get active while strengthening our bonds with family.

The health benefits are not just limited to physical health.  Sure, climbing a steep hill or backpacking with your kid builds endurance and improves overall physical well-being. But there’s more to physical health when you enjoy the great outdoors, including:

Mental Health Balance

Spending time with your kids outdoors is also beneficial to your own mental health.  It’s a wonderful stress reliever especially if you work in an office all day. Hiking, biking, and climbing can help relieve you of the stress that you deal with on a regular basis.  

Social Bond Strengthening

People who love the great outdoors or any kind of outdoor activity usually do well at group work.  Outdoorsy folks improve their social skills over time and they do so while learning how to effectively work with others.

Imagine what it will be like for your kid.

Encouraging your kid to enjoy nature also gives them important skills, such as team building and problem-solving skills. These will be extremely valuable when she grows up.  

Increased Productivity

Believe it or not, people who spend more time outdoors are more productive in their job and personal life.  Kids who spend more time with friends playing in the park tend to show more IQ and EQ than those who spend more time tinkering with their gadgets.

They are more motivated to get involved in activities and they bring this “grit” to solve life’s riddles and challenges.

Healthy View of the Environment

By exploring the world, kids develop a deep appreciation of nature.  Teaching your child about nature opens their eyes to how important and interconnected the environment is.

Talk to your child about simple, but pressing, environmental issues of the day and teach her how she can make a big difference in her own small way.  Besides, big changes take place with small steps.

  1.       Contribute to the Local Economy by Boosting Local, Small Businesses

Last, but certainly not least, exploring the great outdoors with your kids can bring great value to local and small businesses in your area.  Every time you go out to enjoy nature, you contribute to your local economy’s coffers.

The Great Outdoors Month of June is a time for everyone to share what nature has to offer.  It helps heighten your child’s understanding of nature and their place in it. Plus it’s just a great place to relax in!