How To Encourage Kids To Be Respectful Of Nature

Spending time in nature and the great outdoors has so much to offer adults and children. 

Spending time in nature and the great outdoors has so much to offer adults and children. The mere sounds of nature are known to impact a person’s mood and energy in a positive way.
Walking amongst nature can give you a different perspective and shift any stress or anxiety you might be feeling. It serves as a reminder that in the grand scheme of things we, and our problems, are actually very small. This can be a humbling thought.
When a child enjoys being in nature it opens up a whole world of possibility for family days out and activities that do not cost a lot of money. These experiences can enrich family life and have a really powerful impact on the overall sense of harmony within your little unit.

When your child falls in love with nature it also benefits their health in a huge number of ways. It will lead to less screen time which will improve their quality of sleep and performance at school. There is also nothing like the hunger that a good day in the great outdoors leads to.
Here are some useful ways to help your children fall in love with nature

1. Change your habits. Make outdoor trips a normal and expected part of family life. A weekend hike, trips to the park and time in the garden as the norm will be far more effective than one intense effort every couple of weeks.

2. Lead by example. Do you show enthusiasm about the outdoors or do you usually chose the TV, technology or time spent indoors? Children like to emulate their parents' behaviour so your actions and attitude will really impact theirs.

3. Pick up some bird feeders, a bird bath and nice flowers for the garden to make it an inviting place for other creatures. It will encourage your children to enjoy it more.

4. Try to include nature-related toys and media where possible. It helps normalise them and helps your child to think about them in a positive way.
5. Explore the connection between food and nature by eating outdoors and planting vegetables/fruits. The kids will love it.

6. Try to encourage unstructured outdoor play as this is where the magic happens. Encouraging your child to run wild, get dirty and play with whatever sticks, rocks and dirt they come across is really powerful.

7. Answer their questions about nature. We know it can be exhausting but feeding that curiosity is essential. If you don’t know the answer try to find it together as a team effort.

8. At Christmas time or birthdays consider an annual pass to a local farm, zoo or national park. It will encourage you to spend more time there and put a focus on time outdoors as a family. It’ll also save you money in the long run as these passes usually work out at great value.

Tracey is mammy to five-year-old Billy and newborn Willow. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram.

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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