Spring is the perfect time to be outdoors.
Climbing over a rock, rolling down a hill, swinging from a branch. Skipping in a river.
No matter how kids spend their time outside, chances are they’re building an enduring love of the great outdoors at the same time. And what better way to develop a respect for our earth and a love of nature than by getting outside to play and explore!
With spring’s longer days and the sunshine’s warmer rays, there’s no shortage of outdoor opportunities. Here are some ideas to help you and your family bring on spring!
Provide tools. Shovels, magnifying glasses, pencils, paper, cameras and butterfly nets are just a few of the resources that kids can use to get down and dirty and immersed in nature. Encourage them to be creative with what they have available outdoors.
Ask questions. What does it look like? How does it move? What does it eat? How does it smell? Ask open-ended questions that encourage kids to observe and discover details about what they find in nature.
Share their wonder. Encourage their exploration, marvel at their findings, and share their excitement—all while letting them make discoveries of their own. Don’t be afraid to feign ignorance to encourage excitement.
Bring nature indoors. Pinecones, stones, seashells and feathers are some of the things often carried indoors inside pockets. Take them one step further and find them a place on a window ledge or a shelf. (Not living things, of course!)
Encourage care. Provide children with opportunities to care for nature such as watering plants, feeding animals, picking up trash and treating all living things gently. This encourages respect and empathy and gives kids a connection that might, in the future, inspire a concern for the natural environment—and for each other.
Happy Spring, from our family to yours.