With summer nearly here, the days and nights are growing warmer. Getting out and enjoying the sunshine is first and foremost on everyone’s mind. The outdoors is calling to the entire family and school, in many places, offers children a full summer away from studies. What will your kids be doing this summer?
Ideally, your kids will be happy all summer long, but inevitably, one of them will tell you that they are bored and want something to do. Children, for all that they will deny the statement, desire structured playtime and actual learning. Giving them that kind of structured playtime is in their best interests, as well as your own. Keep your kids in the habit of learning over the summer with a few new ideas that will help them to stay interested and may give them a lifelong love of the outside world.
Taking your kids to the park, to a new play area, or even just to your own back yard on a discovery adventure can offer wonderful rewards for them and for you.
Offering a little bit of one on one time to your children is a great way to keep them occupied, as well as to teach them a little about the outdoor world.
Taking your children outside opens up entirely different worlds to them. It teaches them a vast amount about biology, ecology, and the small backyard discovery forays may help to alleviate some of that summer boredom that eventually sets in.
Before you take them to any new area, visit it yourself and survey what you can expect to find there. Get familiar with the area and the route that you will need to take to see the things you’d like to emphasize. Define the things that there are to see in that park or wilderness area.
From plants to animals, you’ll find new discoveries in virtually any area of the world. Some of the newest and best adventures will be within hailing distance from your house. They may be in your own back yard. Small animals or birds make great focal points, or an area with a pond will help you to explain to them how the watery ecosystem actually functions.
Bear in mind what your kids can expect to see, but also what they can expect from the area. Is it conducive to loud play or will they need to be a bit quieter. Typically, that is not the case, but a great deal will depend on the area that you select.
Once you’ve gone over the whole area and reviewed what you can expect, then plan a mini lesson based on the results of your scouting expedition. When you take your kids to the area in question, know ahead of time what you plan to ask them to do or to find.
Know what you want to teach them and set a clear goal for what you’d like them to come away from the area having learned. Make it fun and interactive.
Give them clear ideas of what you expect from them during your backyard discovery. Add a little structure to it and it will be welcomed by your children.
Plan activities to be incorporated into your outdoor adventure. Offer some type of fun exercise such as time spent on few a Gorilla playsets, or a craft and, incorporate a snack.
Know what you will be doing and have it planned out to the end to achieve the greatest success. If you plan to ask them to make dioramas outdoors, be sure that you take supplies with you and that there are tables available for the children.
Expect that there will be questions about the area and the wildlife or plant life that you are viewing. Take some time to review it yourself and get familiar with the area so that you are in a position to offer at least adequate teaching and to answer the questions your kids are certainly going to ask.
Spending the time outside brings your kids closer to the world of nature, and very often brings them closer to you.
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