My workshop “Everyday Nature for Families” (which starts June 1st) was inspired by the parents who have asked me,
“How do you get your kids outside all of the time?”
Often they assume that since my kids are nature lovers it is easy to get them motivated to head out to explore. While it is true that more times than not they are ready and willing to head out for a hike, it has taken work and dedication to get to that point, and there are days when I still struggle to get them outside.
So how do I get them engaged and outside, even when all they really want to do
is sit on the couch with the iPad?
I can give you a few of my secrets:
– I unplug and get outside with them!
Yes, kids follow our lead and when we are distracted and engaged with the other outside world, the digital world, we are sending a message about what we think is important. We must unplug, leave our phones behind (or at least tucked away, on mute), and head out with them!
– I wonder! Wonder! Wonder!
This is by far one of the most effective ways to get my kids engaged. When our kids hear us wonder about how things work and why things do what they do, it sparks a process in them the carries their own wonderings and leads to amazing discoveries about our world and their place in it!
– I Get dirty (and encourage them to do the same)!
I am not talking about a head-to-toe mud bath here (although that would probably do everyone a whole lot of good) but truly engaging in the natural world without worrying about wet shoes, dirty knees or icky fingers. When we say no to dirt, we are saying no to the natural world and throwing up barriers to engagement. Say yes to dirt, and bring along change of socks and some wet wipes wherever you go!
By doing those three things I am sending a message about what I think is important and instilling in them the value of spending time connecting with our natural world.
My workshop Everyday Nature for Families is all about helping parents get their kids unplugged and outside using engaging, yet simple, activities to spark wonder, ignite curiosity, lay a foundation for deeper investigation and bring their family closer together through a connection with nature.
Click on over to the main page for Everyday Nature with Families to learn more about the workshop and how it can benefit you and your family (even if you already get outside daily)!
It starts JUNE 1st and I would love to have you join me for 2 weeks of diving deeper into nature!
P.S. If you know parents who have asked you how you get your kids outside, please send this along to them and hopefully we can help them get their kids out and engaged, just like your kids!