Sometimes, it might be a struggle to get kids outside, but building their love for the outdoors early has a lifetime of rewards.
According to a recreation report from the Outdoor Foundation, those who were not exposed to outdoor recreational activities during childhood were less likely to participate as adults. However, those who were introduced to the outdoors as children were twice as likely to participate in outdoor recreation as adults. Encouraging participation in outdoor recreation is crucial for developing healthy habits as young people continue to grow through adolescence.
Building an appreciation for the outdoors at an early age is something that will stay with younger people as they grow into adulthood, continuing to pass on the same traditions that have been taught to them.
Most states also offer special hunting opportunities targeted at encouraging youth involvement. Taking a hunters safety education course is usually a requirement to participating in these particular events, and the hunts are supervised by an adult, providing a mentoring opportunity for young people to be paired with someone who can share their experience and expertise.
Most states offer a “Free Fishing Day” or “Free Fishing Weekend” that provides an opportunity for families to enjoy taking their kids out on the water without the cost of licensing fees. Additional local events also provide community support with equipment and guidance from Fish & Wildlife officers. Being in an environment with other kids are participating in the event encourages children to build relationships with each other and make fishing buddies.
3. Take them on a nature hike
Participating in some sort of hike-and-harvest event will allow not only for physical activity, but educational opportunities. Giving kids a chance to learn how to find, identify, and harvest mushrooms, wild greens, or berries under adult supervision helps build their confidence and instills a sense of independence. Nature can provide a chance to be in a different type of classroom environment where kids can unplug and immerse themselves in their surroundings.