27 April 2012

Easy Out

If you're a parent, you may have heard about the push to provide children with more outdoor playtime. In short, the argument goes that having opportunities to play outside are an important part of children's health and development.

Still, one of the reasons children are spending less time outdoors is that our society is not exactly focused on what's outside. As a result, figuring out how to give your children good outdoor experiences can be difficult.

TreeHugger recently published some ideas intended to help parents get started introducing their children to nature. I really like the concept of the "hummingbird parent." Also, the suggestion for planting native species connects well with my previous post about Native Plant Appreciation Week, and a recent writing from Go Explore Nature adds more detail to how parents can share the experience of native plants with their children.

For those parents just starting out with outdoor experiences, I think the best thing to keep in mind is the first idea presented by TreeHugger. You don't have to jump right into major nature expeditions. Find something simple instead. This lets you get experience managing an outing, and it also increases the odds that you'll enjoy the time outside. Even "little" experiences with nature can be savored, and if you're not overwhelmed by the situation, you'll probably enjoy it a lot more.

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