As parents once (even if it was ages ago), and now grandparents who are over the moon with the little ones, we are constantly thinking of fun things to do to keep them having just that – fun! Sounds simple, but lots of us forget about how to engage them. Now that we are into the fall season, let’s enjoy every chance we can to be outside and be in nature. Here’s a great article reprinted from woodentoyshop.com that explains one way to get kids up and out and away from all that ‘tech’ stuff.
There have been several studies conducted, showing the detrimental effects of children not spending enough time outside. The studies found that less than 10% of children currently play outside in natural spaces, such as woodland. Around three-quarters of children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. In the last thirty years, children’s “roaming status” has reduced by 90%.
The Council for Learning Outside of the Classroom, found that outdoor activity helps with the development of a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as developing problem-solving skills and creativity. Not spending enough time outside can increase the chances of both mental and physical illness in children.
Things to do:
1. Build a Fairy Garden
Find a container or appropriate space in the garden. Get small plantings, such as dwarf grasses, miniature evergreens and daisies moss, potting soil and accessories for your fairy’s home! These can be toys from the children’s collection of toys, or homemade!
2. Look for Footprints
There are tons of little critters and animals in all of our neighborhoods. Make a checklist as a focus for your next walk; kids love to become nature scientists. Searching for tracks will help your child feel more excited about being out in nature and they will learn about the different animals in your countryside.
3. Nature Walk Bingo
Grab a pair of binoculars and a homemade Bingo card (printable card on the site) with animals in your area and mark off every time you see one of the animals. Perhaps you can come up with a ‘natural’ prize if they get BINGO, such as an outdoor toy or book relating to nature.