Give your kids the thrilling and rewarding experience of making it to the top of a rock wall! Team Green Adventures will be at Climb Nashville on Sunday, July 13 at 1:00 p.m. for a family indoor climbing day. Rock climbing is a fun way to help your kids enjoy outdoor activities in the future. It is important to take small steps when trying to raise your kids to appreciate outdoor activities. This beginner-friendly indoor climbing day may be the first step in your child becoming a future mountaineer!
7 Tips for Raising Outdoorsy Kids:
1. Nix the baby stroller ASAP. Let your toddler tread everywhere with you as soon as he or she is able to walk. While it may take some time for your child to move at a decent pace, your son or daughter will be much stronger later in life because of the early start. Move aside kiddos; your little “grown-up” won’t depend on being carried all the time.
2. Be patient. Regardless of whether your kids enjoy the outdoor activities or not, they are bound to throw tantrums here and there. This is no reason to give up! Just know that raising your kids on camping and hiking will be exhausting for you, but will result in lifelong family excursions down the road. Always keep in mind that if you wait to introduce the outdoors to your kids later in life, they may not be interested.
3. Don’t force it. Your children will need time to become active and skilled in outdoor activities. If you push your kids too hard they could develop a lifelong negative association with the outdoors. For example, start with a short beginner hike and work your way up to a camping trip, kayak before white-water rafting, sled before skiing, or fish before snorkeling.
4. Use incentives wisely. In order to create positive associations with nature for your kids, you will need motivators. Save a granola bar for a certain mile marker or eat a picnic lunch halfway through a longer hike. There is nothing quite like food to brighten up exhausted kids! You may even bring along walkie-talkies for a fun, interactive experience. If you’re bringing along multiple kids, have a “leader stick” (or flag) and rotate who is in front.
5. Listen to your kids. After you’ve spent more time outside, pay attention to what activities your kids like best. If they prefer certain activities be sure to do those more and let your kids help you plan trips. The more involved they are, the better future explorers they will be!
6. Wait until they ask for the pack. Never force your kids to carry anything. That is the fastest way to unhappy campers. Fortunately, it won’t be long before your little ones are begging to carry something. When they see you carrying a backpack, they associate whoever has a pack as a strong person. Your kids will most likely have a healthy dose of competition and soon want to carry bigger and bigger loads. Be careful to avoid giving your child a pack that is more than 20-25% of his or her body weight, though!
7. Collect things. This is a great way to help your kids acclimate to dirt and bugs- things many children will grow up to be afraid of. Plan fun scavenger hunts to help your children learn about different kinds of plants and insects. If you have a daughter, try making flower crowns or use flower petals in an art project.
Follow these tips to raise kids who love the outdoors for the rest of their lives, and you will avoid problems like this:
– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)