by Lina Martinez

 

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Remember those halcyon days of your childhood? Playing outside with friends, going for bike rides, visiting the local park… assuming you are of a certain age, these were the days when the only screen your parents had to worry about you spending time with was the television. Getting outside was good for you, enjoying the fresh air with all it’s health benefits, while becoming one with nature. These days, however, it’s a different story. Our kids are constantly plugged into one device or another, and chances are, their only view of the natural world is from a video game or Google Maps. Of course, you may be guilty of this too!

There’s a big world out there, with so much to see and explore, that it would be a shame to skip it entirely in favour of an iPhone app. If you want your kids to spend more time with nature, there are some small (and large) steps you can take. Consider the following.

Plant a garden - If you’re planning on giving your garden a facelift, get your kids involved. They probably know the basics from whatever sim game they have been playing on their tablets anyway, but you can still show them a thing or two, explaining why it’s good to get their hands dirty once in a while. Growing their own food, they may be tempted to finally eat their vegetables, as well.

Go for more days out - No matter what time of year it is, you don’t have to spend all your weekends cooped up at home. There will be places of natural beauty near to where you live, so get your kids out and explore whatever is around you. Even better, head somewhere with absolutely no wifi signal, so your children are forced to look up rather than down at the screen in their hands.

Have an adventure - When you do head outdoors, don’t limit your family to a long trek up a hillside, or a place of beauty that you think your children should admire. Most kids want a bit of excitement, so consider mountain biking through forest trails, white water rafting on a nearby river, zip riding at local activity centres, or exploring buried caves for hidden treasures. Being outside can be exhilarating and there are many ways your kids can interact with nature that don’t have to be ‘boring.’

Move out of the concrete jungle - Should you ever consider moving house, maybe it’s time to ditch the towns and cities. Look for homes for sale in areas of natural beauty, with wildlife nearby, beautiful vistas and a clear view of the stars. Wake up every morning to birdsong instead of the sounds of traffic and enjoy living somewhere that is away from the rat race of modern civilisation. If you ever wanted to be a country mouse, perhaps now is the time to do it, especially if you want your children to grow up valuing the world around them.

Finally

The world will be a better place if your children learn to love and respect nature, so consider our ideas. Your kids are the future after all, and they have much to teach their own children in the years to come. By teaching your kids to value the world around them, you are doing your bit to give them a new perspective, as well as benefiting their health away from the technology that has pervaded our society.