Raising Kids Who Love The Outdoors

On several hikes we have had people stop us and tell us how brave we are to be venturing outdoors with little kids. It always brings a smile to our faces when people recognize that it is hard work, but also applaud how well the kids are doing. There used to be a day where we were excited that the kids would finally be able to go off and play independently, but as they have gotten older, we realize how much we really want to be involved in helping to create a love and respect in them for the outdoors. It is a great feeling to see their faces light up when they see the simplest of things on a trail or adventure; it really shows us as adults how to appreciate the little things in life. Outside they are able to use all their senses as they explore trees, seeing all kinds of wildlife and bugs, water, flowers and feeling raindrops on their tongue. We have found that it really helps their developmental stages and helps them be more curious, happier, healthier and stronger kids. It is so important to us that we are Raising Kids Who Love The Outdoors.

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My Tree Planet goals and dreams for the future

We recently partnered with MyTree Planet, a fantastic Canadian charity that is eco-friendly and fighting against climate change. You can gift the planting of trees — the perfect way to celebrate a loved one instead of something that they don’t really need, or to leave an everlasting legacy.  We have planted two trees in our home province of Beautiful British Columbia, Canada as part of our partnership with My Tree Planet to help support reforestation projects within North America. There are so many great reasons to plant more trees, including fresh air (trees help us breathe!) and biodiversity (wildlife and plants are sure to follow the planting of trees). Find out how you can get involved at My Tree Planet.

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Hiking up to Quarry Rock in Vancouver, BC
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Enjoying the trails through Lighthouse Park in Vancouver, BC

We are so excited to continue to teach our children about the benefits of planting more trees and what an amazing thing more trees do for nature and the environment.  There are so many reasons why we are passionate about raising our kids to love the outdoors and teaching them to do their part to protect the environment near and far. We need to work together to make sure that the world is better for the next generations.

There are many ways to and reasons why you should encourage your children to have an appreciation for the outdoors that will last a lifetime. These are some goals we continually use hope to show our children so that they grow to have a love and respect for the outdoors: 

Start Them Early

Let them play in the trees, dirt, and let babies eat sand at the beach. Let them walk and explore from a young age. Walking with a little one does require patience, and sometimes A LOT of it, but it really does help to turn children into strong hikers and gets them used to walking instead of always being carried. You would be surprised what hikes even a two year old can manage.

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Learning to camp among the trees in Banff National Park

Make It Part Of Your Lifestyle

Rain or shine, get them exploring the different elements outdoors. Let them get raindrops on their tongue, jump in puddles, climb trees. Remember that you are your child’s most important teacher, even when it comes to nature. You have to show a love for nature yourself. They are more likely to love it too if they see you having a good time outside and will look forward to spending the time outdoors. Outside you’ll find the best playground ever! Don’t be afraid to just let them wander with you outdoors. It may seem like you do not have the time if you do not have any ‘real goals’ in mind, but that open awareness fosters a great connection.

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Wildlife spotting in Jasper National Park, AB.

Talk About What They See Outdoors

Continually make an effort to talk about the nature they discover. Ask about the flowers, the bugs, different shapes and sights. It will show them that the little details are worth talking about and will help their curosity about the environment around them to grow.

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Taking in the peaceful nature vibes in Golden Ears Provincial Park in BC.

Outdoor Kids Are Healthier, Happier and Stronger

When kids are outdoors, they are much more active compared to when they are inside. They are able to freely run, jump, climb and explore. There is a definite shift in the way kids play outside as they are more free to be themselves and this helps them to be more relaxed and get the space they need. Kids that are constantly moving can maintain healthier habits, get more Vitamin D to help their bones grow strong, and help their immune systems. Children that play outdoors are also physically stronger as they walk along fallen tree logs, dig holes, pick flowers — it all makes a difference in coordination, balance and muscle.

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Outdoor Kids Become Great Environmentalists

If you teach your children how to love and protect the environment, there is a better chance they will join in the fight to conserve it; we only conserve what we love. There have been many occasions where the kids have commented on how bad it is for someone to litter, have asked us to explain some element of nature, simply asked about a flower or something growing off of a tree, or stopped to observe a slug that was crossing in our path. All their questions help to lead them to a better understanding of the natural world; they want to understand how to care for nature.

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Balancing on fallen trees in Golden Ears Provincial Park in BC

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Taking in the stunning nature of Golden Ears Provincial Park in BC

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Perhaps Most Important: Remember It Is About The Journey

To us, it is also the most important to remember that it is about the journey. Know when your children have had enough and it is time to switch to Plan B.

 

Why is it important for you to raise your kids with a love for the outdoors and to help create that love for the environment?

 

Disclaimer: We joined in the Instagram campaign to spread awareness of My Tree Planet, but as always, our opinions are our own.