Yes, it is true: there are a number of obstacles that make it difficult to take children out for a walk and a few hours in contact with nature. The days are still quite cold, and COVID19 rules imposed by governments don’t always permit outdoor recreation.
Yet, with proper precautions and within the rules, you should consider getting outside! It is important to get out of the house with your children and take them where the pollution is not so bad, exploring meadows and groves, country roads and even small farms, with the owner’s permission.
This article invites you to lead your children into a fascinating, wonderful, educational encounter with nature and life!
Why spend time outdoors with children?
There are many reasons why you should choose to spend a day outdoors with your children. We’ll try to list some of them, to give you some ideas and suggest activities and entertainment that you might never have thought of.
We are aware of the fact that too often the temptation to stay at home is very strong (especially if it’s cold outside, or if your couch is comfortable, or if the TV is on and running with a good show…), but we will try to convince you that there is a world out there awaiting to fascinate you and your children!
Teaching children about eco-friendly living
One of the reasons why you should occasionally take your children out of the house is because in the midst of nature they can learn so many things: they can discover animals and plants, small physical or biological phenomena, and scents and colors that the city or suburb cannot offer.
In the midst of nature, you will get many ideas to teach your children an eco-friendly lifestyle, closer to nature and also healthier for you and them.
This is certainly a very interesting and complex subject that deserves a separate article, which… in fact, exists! So, click on this link, if you want to teach children an eco-friendly life.
Living in nature, taking a break from screen time
Spending a day in nature also means living a day away from computer, TV, smartphone and tablet screens. Something that, in our time, happens more and more rarely.
Time spent outdoors away from screens helps our mood and allows us to strengthen the bond with our children, giving us the chance to get to know them better from a completely new perspective, with no distractions and no apps to distract our attention from what really matters.
Outdoors with kids, breathing fresh air
It may seem obvious, but fresh air is something very underrated!
Getting outside to breathe clean air has many benefits for our bodies. Often the quality of the air inside our homes is not always optimal or, at least, is poorer than what we can find in a meadow or a forest.
“But, if it were to get cold, wouldn’t it be a little risky to go outside? I don’t want my kids to catch a bad cold!” is a retort that many of you may have thought of.
Well, studies have shown that in very low temperatures (below zero C), the germs responsible for respiratory infections do not survive. So, going out healthy means coming home healthy (cold, maybe, but healthy).
Did you know that in the northern countries of Europe parents usually leave their kids outside in strollers while having dinner in restaurants? This is because they sleep better in colder temperatures and they avoid getting sick!
In case your kids already have a cold, consider that getting out of the house in cold weather could be a great way to clear their nose and airways!
Finally, going outdoors can be a way to make your children perceive in a direct and unequivocal way that living in contact with nature is good for them! It is good for the body and the mood. And, also for this reason, to protect the environment means to assure a future full of that well-being that only nature can give.
Playing outdoors to release energy
Have you ever thought of children as an alternative source of energy? Inexhaustible! Tireless!
Every parent has probably thought about this at least once. What is certain is that children have lots and lots of energy to burn.
Going outdoors and spending time with them immersed in nature can become an essential moment to help release this surplus of energy through motor activity.
So our advice is to take children to open spaces where they can climb, run, and…. scream! Sunlight will have positive effects on their character and physiology, thanks to an extra dose of vitamins!
Stimulating imagination by discovering nature and the environment
Playing outdoors helps children develop their imaginations, as well as letting them discover the pleasure of being immersed in nature. Even in winter it is possible to plan a series of outdoor activities that transmit to children a series of values and knowledge related to respect for the environment and safeguarding of nature.
Learning about the environment when you can’t leave home
If the weather is too cold or if, for other reasons (other than laziness), you can’t get out of the house, there are many other activities you can do at home.
For example, you can do some DIY, to learn to reuse materials and recycling objects that are thought to be useless (you could build a small feeder for birds, made with recycled materials, not to have any impact on nature).
Of course, you can also play a fun board game inspired by a very important environmental issue. To cite several examples, you can:
- Improve your memory by discovering endangered species;
- Help the arctic animals to reach the glacier, to save themselves from the melting of the ice and from the ice-breaking ships.
- Deal with complex problems, such as global warming, or the issue of saving water and energy resources with intelligence and fun.
But first, go out for a walk with the kids!