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« #1: Get OUT! | Main | #3: Let them PLAY. »

#2: Make it a special time.

Kids will already be primed to sense more, enjoy more, learn more and bond more simply because you’re together and you’re in nature. Here are easy ways to take the most advantage of the time:

  • Plan outdoor time. Set aside a regular time for learning outside together—Sunday mornings, Saturday afternoons, or maybe a morning or an afternooon during the week. Kids will look forward to it, and you’ll make clear that this is important stuff.
  • Be spontaneous (contradictory, I know, but bear with me!). If you are driving along and notice an undiscovered park, strange plant or really inviting field, stop the car, let the family loose and either improvise or do a family favorite—remember, is available on your mobile phone!
  • Wear special clothes. Kids cue off of simple changes like this. Special clothes say things like, “It’s time for adventure,” “Today is not the average Saturday” or “Time to get dirty!”—all music to little ears.
  • Pack a snack. Build in time to enjoy a snack outside together.  In our local classes, we often end our time in the woods with a chat-‘n-chew session.
  • Help them notice. Prompt them as you leave a non-nature feeling place and transition into a nature feeling one. Ask them what they see, hear, smell, and feel. Ask them to explain how the non-nature and nature were different. Simple, but powerful.

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