Many experts talk about the beneficial health effects of being out in nature. Author Richard Louv writes in his book, Last Child in the Woods, that we must save our children from “nature-deficit disorder!” This is a very interesting concept, but does it have to be complicated to plan nature walks with your preschooler? Thankfully, no!
To start with, there are technological advances that are in your favor!
- There are apps readily available if you need a magnifying glass on your smartphone. RV AppStudios (Magnifying Glass + Flashlight) offers a free version and has high reviews. This way, your preschooler can have access to a magnifying glass for the nature walk if you do not otherwise have one.
- PBS has a free “Outdoor Family Fun with Plum” app available on pbskids.org. This character, Plum, gives different outdoor missions for your family to then explore and conquer in the great outdoors.
Here are simple ways to have a successful nature walk with your preschooler.
- Have the right supplies. This can include a magnifying glass (or binoculars) and a small bucket for your preschooler to keep any special things found on the nature walk. (You will just need to be aware of any rules if you are in a State Park, etc.) You can also keep a spare pair of clothes in your vehicle in case your preschooler gets dirty from the exploration.
- Keep a balance between parent-led and child-led activities. You can lead a prepared activity, like a simple scavenger hunt, but your preschooler will also benefit from free-play. It is fun to observe a preschooler’s mind in action.
- Whether it is parent-led or child-led, encourage your preschooler to use their senses when on the nature walk.
You can pull off a successful nature walk, with just a few simple preparations. A child’s natural exploration will take off when given the opportunity to be out in nature.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Keller located in Keller, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.