Seven Simple Strategies to get your child outside

1. Build nature into your routine

This is one of the easiest ways to make sure your children continue to experience nature over and over, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal.

Can you pause between getting out of the car and stepping through the front door to see if you and your child can find any interesting shapes in the clouds today? Can you schedule in a short family stroll one day a week? Can you make a habit of taking a cup of juice outside and counting how many different sounds you hear while you sip your drink?

2. Try a simple scavenger hunt

Children love a scavenger hunt. Try the backgarden scavenger hunt posted earlier on this site.

3. Swap art supplies for nature

Encourage creative nature play and draw the outline of a picture. Just print them off and finish the designs using leaves, flowers, bark or anything else you find outdoors.

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4. Create a nature table

A nature table is a flat surface in your home where you can collect and display the treasures you find in nature, whether it’s seed pods, fallen leaves, an old bird’s nest that has fallen or something in between, just remember not to break trees or touch anything that has an animal living in it. Spend time outdoors looking for little treasures for your nature table. Use an old cupcake tray to store some of the objects you find.

5. Let them get bored

It might make you feel like a bad parent, but letting your kids find their own solutions to their boredom is one of the best things you can do for their creativity and resilience.

6. Get out with friends

When other kids come over for a play date, get everyone outside with this list of things to do. Or organise to meet friends at a park or for a child-friendly walk. Please ensure you follow all current public health advice and practice social distancing.

7. Create an inviting play space outside

Along with the traditional outdoor toys like a ball or skipping rope, you can also have baskets for collecting items from nature, and maybe even some old bowls, buckets or kitchen utensils that you’re prepared for them to use while making mud pies.

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