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Ask LP Kids: how do you get your kids outdoors?

in Blog
Created: 19 June 2019

Our regular #AskLPKids column with advice from our community of family travellers tackles the subject of how to get your kids out and about in nature.

The post Ask LP Kids: how do you get your kids outdoors? appeared first on Lonely Planet Kids.


Our regular #AskLPKids column with advice from our community of family travellers tackles the subject of how to get your kids out and about in nature.

The post Ask LP Kids: how do you get your kids outdoors? appeared first on Lonely Planet Kids.

Taking in the view of Cape Town on top of Table mountain ©BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

Spending time exploring and playing outdoors has proven benefits for children. It helps them develop physically, teaches them social skills, encourages creativity and fosters independent thinking, as well as the well-documented health benefits of being active. In a world where technology has the potential to dominate our lives, teaching our kids good habits when it comes to getting off the sofa and out into the fresh air is an important part of parenting. So how do you get your kids outdoors?

The expert view

I remember exactly where I was the first time I breathlessly witnessed the expansiveness of the Milky Way, the first time I faced my fear on a Class 4 whitewater rafting trip, the feeling of accomplishment the first time I got the campfire started all by myself. All these experiences live inside me, written in my DNA, in the form of leadership, confidence, and passion.

Now, as a parent, I am acutely aware of the significant role that outdoor exploration and discovery plays in my daughter’s development and happiness. This personal growth can come from activities as simple as a picnic in the park, or as technical as belaying at the local crag, but either way, making the outdoors a priority for your child can benefit them for the rest of their life.

However, with all of the distractions of the modern world vying for our kids’ attention, how can we encourage them to get excited about going outside? Try flipping the script. Take an average dining room table activity, like eating lunch or doing homework, into the great outdoors. Surprise them with a nature journal and let them roam the backyard, solo explorer style, scribbling down field notes. Connect with like-minded families in your community and commit to an outing once a week. And most important, lead by example. Let your own excitement for outdoor fun set the tone, and the kids will surely follow.

– Jennifer Fontaine, of Outdoor Families Magazine

Our Twitter community says

#asklpkids we have to lead by example and reduce our own screen time ….They will surely follow what we do .

— Family on the wheels (@TalesofFOTW) April 25, 2019

#asklpkids we have to lead by example and reduce our own screen time ….They will surely follow what we do .

— Family on the wheels (@TalesofFOTW)

Make the outdoors more interesting and compelling

— vapour trails (@the_jezzter) April 25, 2019

Our Facebook fans say

The above comments and more family travel tips can be found on our Facebook feed.

Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1) There are ten tips for walking with kids on LonelyPlanet.com.

2) Outdoor Families Magazine has a whole section of the site dedicated to ‘getting outdoors‘.

3) For more information on why outdoor play is so important, and for more ideas to get you started, have a look at the Why Should Children Play Outside? page of the ‘grown-ups’ section of the CBeebies website.

4) And finally, if your kids love mythical creatures our Wild Things book is a fantastical guide that will help them track dragons, create fairy fashions, brew magic potions, build snow unicorns, discover trolls and go on night hunts to capture moon magic, all in the great outdoors!

The post Ask LP Kids: how do you get your kids outdoors? appeared first on Lonely Planet Kids.


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