In a world increasingly filled with technological gadgetry, in a daily life saturated with social media, TV, news, politics, video games, and a cacophony of man made sound…make an effort with your children to experience nature. Make an effort to stop all sound, albeit for a short time and listen to the woods. What does it say to you and your children? Nature and life that fills it is one of the most genuine experiences a human can partake in.
It is not malice filled, it is not fickle, it is not plagued by the greed of humans. It may be harsh and unyielding at times but it does not do so in a personal vendetta manner so often seen in our species.
What birds or wildlife do you see? Make a list of creatures you encounter. Discuss as a family what the animals, and or life you witness, are doing and what is important to them in their lives. Build interest in these creatures, research and identify what you see with after trip learning. Discuss the importance of conservation, cleanliness, outdoor etiquette to enhance their respect of the wild.
Research your nearest national park, local park, uninhibited woods of some type and take a day or two trip to take part in the journey together. Be safe, be prepared for the trip; gear, clothing, supplies etcetera. You and your spouse form realistic expectations based on your kids, their ages, and your expertise in the region you are visiting. Start small if you are not confident in the surroundings, but bottom line allow yourself and family to take part in the simplicity of nature.
I promise; a hot day, a cold stream, deep woods, and real life experiences with wildlife in just a few examples, will engage your family more than any TV program or video game can.
"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
We as fathers, as well as our children, can benefit from the challenge that comes with a hike, pushing our bodies with actual metabolic caloric burning. Actually needing water and nutrients versus wanting. It is important in this technologically dependent time of human existence to recognize the vast amount of time people hacked their way into the wilderness so many years before us. Take appropriate steps and methods, but allow your children to gain perspective of what it means to not have heat, accessible food and or water. What did they do before electricity, internet, cell phones, Netflix…etcetera? Even young children can benefit from broadening their horizons from their understanding of the current here and now.
Real life experiences in nature will embolden the character inside your child and give them confidence in their own person. This is a vital psychological component in their own navigation of the wild river that is life ahead of them.
What are you waiting for!!?
See you out in the woods gents.
- Intentional Activity: Take a Hike. More thoughts and ideas to get your child excited about the outdoors.
- Want to find hiking/walking trails near you? Check out AllTrails.com. Not an affiliate, simply a great resource to experience nature!