National Wilderness Month: Get Those Kids Outdoors!

Hey, National Wilderness Month is almost over! What did you do to get outdoors and, more importantly, what did you do to get a child outdoors? (Don’t have one? Swing by, we have 4 and are happy to share.) We work hard to get our kids outside and had a pretty good month, from hiking in Matthiessen State Park to staying in a lake house last weekend for a wedding we attended. Stumped on what you can do? The Camping and Education Foundation have created a list of tips that enhance children’s love for the natural world. 

National Wilderness Month: Get Those Kids Outdoors!

Passing a love of the great outdoors on to your kids can be difficult to do when it seems like you are always busy. The summer camping trip goes by way too fast and you and the kids spend all year waiting for the next outdoors adventure. It also may seem like your kids can always be found with a screen glued to their eyes. For parents who care deeply about the natural world, it can be challenging to pass this on to their children. 

Get children outside as much as possible: When out and about with your kids, try to get them out in nature as much as possible. This may include doing the following: sitting outside at restaurants, with weather permitting you can walk to destinations, or plan family hikes at nearby hiking trails. 

Point out the beauty of nature: When you are outside with your children, point out all the great things that can be found in nature. By showing kids things such as weird plants or cool looking birds, parents are engaging their kids learning of the natural world. 

Read books on the great outdoors: It is important for children to be reading. Try incorporating books about the outdoors or try reading books that have a diverse or interesting setting in nature. 

Kick them out of the house: Kids today often want to play indoors (where the electronics are); they say there’s “nothing to do outside.” Insist that they play outside—but also, give them the freedom to roam around within boundaries appropriate for their ages, so they can explore and stretch their imagination. (We do this all the time. Want to make sure they stay interested? Hand them a pair of binoculars, works every time!)

Plan your summers with outdoors opportunities: Whether you plan a family trip to Yosemite or enroll your child in a summer camp that focuses on the natural world, just plan to get them outside. Although your kids might fight you and declare their love for the new and popular theme park, show them that exploring and learning about the world is an adventure. 

Discover their interests: By asking your child and finding out what activities they may be interested in, you can appeal to their interests and give them a say in how they spend their time outside. For example, if your child enjoys climbing or biking, encourage these activities and help cater to their general interest.

About The Camping and Education Foundation: The Camping and Education Foundation’s mission is to develop young men and women in body and spirit through wilderness experiences that celebrate a love of the outdoors. This mission is as strong today as it was ninety years ago when Camp Kooch-i-ching first opened its doors on Deer Island in Northern MN. The Camping and Education Foundation supports Camp Kooch-i-ching and Ogichi Daa Kwe, two of the premier summer wilderness camps in North America. 

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