Go Play Outside! - FamilyEducation

Go Play Outside!

by Kyanna Sutton

Find out what your child learns from exploring the great outdoors.

In This Article:

Start When They're Young

Kids of all ages can learn a lot about their connection to the natural world. By exploring what's around them, kids begin to develop investigative skills which will help them later when they have to grasp many different science and math concepts.

Younger Kids Outside

With younger children, I've always found it's better to plan many activities that take short amounts of time, rather than say, a long hike on a cold day.

Young kids also have more bathroom needs and generally have a shorter attention span. Try to keep hikes to a healthy length so as not to completely exhaust them. Younger children like to explore what's around them but need an adult by their side.

Games are a good idea for younger kids when you're planning an outdoor adventure as a family. Hide-and-seek, camouflage, and blindfold walks are some good traditional games you can play with your kids.

Visiting farms or nature centers is a fun outside activity because kids really like seeing animals but can be overzealous. In a nature center, there's usually a safe distance or barrier between kids and animals.

If you go on a hike, bring snacks and check the weather so you're prepared. You might also bring activities like scavenger hunts to keep your kids' interest piqued.

Younger kids in can:

  • Name their favorite plants and animals.
  • Learn about environmental diversity.
  • Understand what ecosystems are.
  • Grasp the elements of a habitat.
  • Understand changes in the environment.
  • Learn mapping techniques.
  • Name different sources of energy and energy transformation.
  • Identify basic survival needs.
  • Learn how the human community is dependent on the natural environment.
  • Identify environmental changes that occur over a period of time.
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