Guest Post: How you can get your child closer to nature

March 12, 2014 Off By Laura TMOT
In this age of iPhones and Facebook, it’s unsurprising that children are spending a lot more time in the house. This disconnection from nature is taking its toll on the physical and mental health of kids across the country. Rather than take your children on an excursion they won’t enjoy, or force them outside for a few hours, try some of these activities with the whole family:

Gardening
Not only is gardening a great mode of exercise, but it’ll get your back yard looking great in a jiffy. It’s always rewarding to tend the earth and make things grow – try creating your own vegetable patch and herb garden for edible treats. Knowing how to take care of a garden is a great life skill to teach your children, and helps them to understand where their food comes from.

Historical Nature
Visiting historical sites, such as an estate or an Iron Age hill fort, encourages children to learn about times gone by and get some fresh air. The National Trust and English Heritage offer a lot for children and families, whatever the weather or time of year.

Go For A Picnic
Of course, this day out will almost entirely depend on the weather. Once summer comes around, get your best grub together and pack a picnic. The great thing about this is that you can keep it close to home or as far away as you like. If you only feel like going to your local park, that’s fine! It’s nice to just spend time surrounded by greenness.

Climb A Mountain
It’s always nice to feel as if you’ve achieved something (and knackered out the kids in the process). The UK has a wealth of hills and mountains to tackle; most of them are suitable even for young children. We’d recommend Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales – which is a beautiful rock and completely achievable. It can also boast two cafés – one halfway up and one at the top. Trust us; you’ll be glad of the pit stop.

See The Stars
Across the UK, there are spots where you can enjoy the night sky unimpeded by gross light pollution. Take the kids out on a clear night and bring your telescope. It’s a nice opportunity to teach them their constellations.

Zoos and Safari Parks
See the animal kingdom in miniature by going to your local zoo or safari park. View this days out page for a sample of what you can expect to enjoy. It’s a great way to teach your kids about animals from all corners of the continent.

Go Camping
Maybe not every kid’s favourite thing to do, but camping can be a fantastic bonding experience for families. Make sure you take a few creature comforts with you, so your stay is enjoyable and don’t overstretch the camping break – a weekend stay is more than enough. Get your kids involved in key tasks, such as washing up and cooking on the campfire.

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