We live in one of the most spectacular states full of adventures and my family never takes that for granted. I try my best to ensure my daughters are learning about what surrounds them, while also experiencing it first-hand. The book entitled There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk is a powerful and enlightening read that discusses the importance of being outdoors each and every day. The variety of weather is natural and good for the soul to experience.
No, the author doesn’t suggest standing outside during a winter bomb cyclone or a tornado, but she suggests that by being prepared for most elements, you can experience nature in a very fulfilling way.For example, if we’re going on a hike, it’s important to bring sunscreen, water, first aid, snacks, and a bag to collect all our nature finds.When we are prepared for the weather elements, it helps take away focus on being uncomfortable in some ways and refocus on embracing nature around us.
Now, we definitely understand that here in Colorado we can experience all four seasons within one afternoon, so remembering a sweater or hats and gloves is always a good idea.
Nature Apps + Supplies
In addition to bringing the basics, my family brings binoculars, a compass, and our Colorado nature reference guides.We have one for wildlife, wildflowers and birds found in Colorado.Having tools like these can elevate a simple hiking experience for children of all ages.Asking them to identify what flower is blooming or the name of the bird you keep hearing sing is so much fun!
One of our favorite things to do after we go on hikes is research about anything interesting we may have encountered.My girls love identifying wildflowers and then drawing and adding a few facts in their nature journals which allows them to make an additional connection to nature.When children learn more detailed information, their brains make more meaningful memories.
This is where nature journals come into play. Creating a spot where they can draw, write and describe their experiences becomes fun and special to them. This does not have to be anything fancy; a simple notebook or sketchbook and they will add the rest with their crayons, colored pencils etc. Depending on how independent your kids are, they can add the name of the trail, park or area you were around to use as a fun reference for future adventures. The creative possibilities are endless.
I hope some of this inspired you on how to boost your time outdoors with your kids! As the Swedish children’s character Mulle says: “If you can help children love nature, they will take care of nature, because you cherish things you love.”
Have any other suggestions? Share them below in the comments. I’d love to see any of your fun times outdoors and feel free to tag me @jones.family.tribe!