There are many benefits to getting outside and exploring your surroundings, whatever the age of your child. Spending time in the great outdoors can not only improve your child’s mental and physical health, but also strengthen the bond you have with them. If you’re looking for inspiration for ways that you can encourage your little ones to get stuck into nature, here are some activities for you to try together.
Bug boxes and snail tanks
Nature is about the little creatures you can find in it, just as much as the flora and fauna. Therefore, a great way to get your kids interested in the bugs and beetles, is to create a bug box for your own back garden.
There are lots of minibeast that your little one can learn about simply from the garden, who just love to nest in collections of twigs, grass, leaves and pinecones, for example. You can collect these natural materials in a wooden or cardboard box to leave outside, and wait to discover what bugs make it their home. Why not make a checklist for your child, ticking each bug or beetle off every time they see them in the box — or create your own form of nature Bingo!
If you want to take it a step further, then you can take inspiration from your local school or the nursery chain Kiddi Caru, for example and get some Giant Land Snails as pets. They can be kept in a tank at home, and will help your child explore nature’s creatures through feeding, cleaning and caring for this interesting species of snail. If they’re feeling brave enough, or you for that matter, you can explore how the snails feel when you hold them and research the way in which they move. Don’t forget to encourage hand hygiene at all times.
You don’t have to venture far for your family to explore the different aspects of nature, as gardening is a great activity to get all ages involved. Whether that’s planting new flowers, taking part in a sunflower growing competition, or creating a miniature fairy garden, there’s lots to be done in your own back yard, regardless of the space. If you’re not able to access an outside space, you can try growing potted plants indoors, or something small like cress in old egg shells — even the smallest amount of greenery will help your little one to discover more about how the natural world works.
Gardening is a great educational activity, as your child can learn about the cycles of life, how to take responsibility to care for something, and also depending on what you decide to grow, learning where our food comes from and what makes a healthy diet.
Family bike rides
The UK is full of beautiful countryside just waiting to be explored, and with plenty of family and children-friendly trails that you can discover. As designated paths and footways, you can be rest assured that you’re venturing into the countryside safely, and can have the best experience possible for you and your family. Why not check if the trail is suitable for bikes, and get the whole family riding in the countryside? It’s a great way to explore a vaster area, as well as getting everyone active!