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10 Ways to Instill a Love of Nature in Children

nature children

Instilling a love of nature in our children is one of the biggest goals my husband and I have as parents. We want to raise curious kids who grow up to be adults who are comfortable exploring and taking on adventures. We also want our kids to grow up to be individuals who care about nature and works to protect it. To do that, we are working to foster a love for nature early in our kids’ lives. Below is a list of ten ways to instill a love of nature in your kids.

  1. Tap into their natural curiosity: What are your child’s natural interests? Do they love exploring water or are they more interested in digging in the dirt?

  2. Give them plenty of time for free play outside: Try to make time each day to let your kids have free playtime outside. Make sure that this time is unstructured and child-led. Let their imaginations run wild and you’ll be amazed at what they come up with!

  3. Be playful outside: Join in the playtime with your kids! I know it can be so tempting to take a few minutes for yourself while kids are occupied with activities, but playing outside can model that love for nature!

  4. Try new things together: It’s so fun to learn and grow with your kids- as long as you are doing that safely and with a guide or educator if needed. It could be simple things, like growing a garden together or higher adventure like going rafting as a family.

  5. Do everyday activities outside: Taking lunch outside can change the mood of the day! Instead of doing a craft inside, bring it out for a change of pace! Even letting kids bring inside toys out can help spark an interest in the outdoors.

  6. Read books about nature: There are so many amazing books about nature! Help instill a love of reading along with a love of nature by diving into some great nature-inspired books.

  7. Identify flora and fauna: I’ll admit that I grew up with an arborist for a dad, so identifying trees was basically a family hobby. But, there is something so cool when your kid can tell the difference between an aspen and a pine at age 3. We also learn about the local animals that we can encounter in our backyard. One of my 1 year old’s favorite words is loon!

  8. Let them get dirty: There is nothing more fun in childhood than getting dirty! Kids are drawn to mud, dirt, and water. Just embrace the mess and let them get dirty!

  9. Model respect for nature: Practice Leave No Trace principles and model that behavior for your kids. Encourage them to clean up on trails and respect the land they’re on. There’s been a huge increase in disrespect for public lands. We can change this pattern by teaching our children to respect nature!

  10. Visit new outdoor spaces: Visiting new spaces can spark the imagination in a big way, and leave a lasting impression! You can visit places near your house, or plan for a big adventure.

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One Comment

  1. I love this! Outdoors is the best! Even if its to just walk around barefoot and hug a tree for some grounding. I love hiking with the kids. Great blog!

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