I’m over at The Art of Simple today sharing about how our family plays together. From the post:
This morning we donned our winter wear and hit the mountain for a few hours on skis with our children, ages four and seven. This is a typical day for our family.
On several days a week throughout the year, you will find us out in nature on our bikes, kayaking, hiking, camping, snowshoeing or skiing. The kids call it fun – I call it therapy.
Visit me there to read the rest and then visit the resources below to get your own family back into nature.
The book that jump started the conversation: Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. If you need a reason to go play outside (and you have kids), this is your book.
If you’ve already read Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv followed it up with The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. It’s on my to-read list.
Not for the already adventurous parent, this is a great introduction for anyone on the fence about taking their kids into the great outdoors: Let Them Be Eaten By Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into the Great Outdoors.
3 great books for inexpensive, go outside and breath fresh air ideas for parents:
- I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
- The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up
- Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids
Parents: take your kids camping. Of all the amazing vacations I took as a kid, camping trips were the ones I remember. This book gets excellent reviews (and I love the cover design). The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature.
Technology & Apps
Technology gets a bad rap for keeping kids from nature, but there’s some great apps out there to use in your quest for nature.
Here’s a great article on why we need to bridge technology and nature for our children.
This report from the NWF provides real-world advice to help parents serve as positive role models and teach children to use technology in moderation.
The Wilderness Society suggests 9 free nature and wildlife apps for kids.
The NWF compiled their favorite apps where you pretend to be animal or naturalists.
Online Resources & Blogs
The National Wildlife Foundation has a great Nature Finder tool for finding local parks, trails and other nature sites.
The Be Out There Campaign, also by NWF, provides inspiration and ideas for outdoor play.
A great Pinterest board featuring places all over the US for families to ride their bikes.
Nature Rocks has a great tool to help you generate ideas for getting outside in any weather or environment. Let’s say it’s raining today and you are going to a local park, Nature Rocks suggests playing games such as 20 Questions, Puddle Jumping and Guess What’s Inside Nature’s Mystery Bag? All come with instructions.
To make outdoor exploration more interesting and for gift ideas for little nature lovers, check out my 10 Favorite Gadgets and Gear for Outdoor Play.