Looking for fun family activities to keep your 3 year old keen while you explore nature? Read on to find out how a nature walk can help, along with some easy ways to engage pre-schoolers who get tired and distracted easily.
Why is it important?
It is not an easy task to go on a nature walk with kids, but here are some important reasons to inspire you to take them outdoor more often-
- Fostering love for nature while exploring the outdoor flora and fauna
- Exercise those legs and get some fresh air in their lungs
- Get a break from screens and gadgets
- Encourages social and emotional development
Suggestions to keep them motivated and make the most of the trip-
- Short simple trails – Choose some beginner-level easy trails that your kids can enjoy without getting too tired and cranky. Trips like one to an animal sanctuary or a roaring waterfall near the city, can be both kids-friendly and interesting.
- Be flexible – Set aside ample time for the kid to enjoy the nature, take small breaks to watch the butterflies, clouds and tree roots. Don’t aim to reach the top or to the end of the trail, aim to enjoy the path your kids have set foot on. It’s about the journey and not the result.
- Pick the right season – It is important to keep the season in mind when you are planning the hike. Packing the bag according to the season is necessary for the kids’ well being. If you plan to spot some frogs, you have to ensure that you visit the place during the rainy season. If the trail is close by, you could also go there in each season and mark the difference.
- Play fun games on the way– It’s difficult to engage small kids especially when they are exhausted and uncomfortable due to weather or long walk. Zombie walk, what’s-at-the-end-of-the-road, spot the touch-me-not plant, looking out for signs for animals and birds will help distract them and keep their senses open.
- Keep them well fed and hydrated – Pack lots of healthy snacks, finger foods and fruits that they can enjoy while walking can give them an energy boost. Its easy to lose track of your fluid intake when you are on the go. But hydration is important while they might be sweating.
- Tell stories and interact with your little one – This is a great way to build a relationship with your kid and build their social skills. Take turns to tell a story on a topic. Ask them about what they see around like ‘where do birds live?’ or ‘why are trees important?’ to improve their reasoning and thinking abilities.
- Encourage them to lead the way and keep their senses open – Let your kids guide the way under your supervision. Let them explore nature. Collecting stones, listening to water flowing and touching a mossy stone is a good sensorial activity. These hands-on experiences will make the trip memorable and learning fun.
- Appreciate them – Acknowledging and praising the children when they are able to get past a hurdle or when they spot something interesting, This will give their confidence a big push. It’s also helps to pave the way for your next trail.