As you know, it’s incredibly important for your child to get time outdoors every day. This week during the Outdoor Learning Event we talked about how to enjoy your yard and elements you need for an outdoor learning space. But what if you don’t have a yard? Millions of families live in apartments or urban homes with no outdoor spaces… if that’s your family – how can you make outdoor learning a priority if you don’t have immediate access to nature right outside your door?
Listen to me read this article to you…
Here are a few simple ideas for making outdoor play and learning a bit easier if you’re a city dweller…
Take a walk – Just because you don’t have a yard doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the fresh air! Take a walk every day and try to find areas that are as natural as possible. Most cities have parks, trails, green playgrounds, botanical gardens, community gardens, etc. Find where they are and make little walking trips to them when you can.
Identify trees and wildlife – Even cities have a vast array of critters, bugs, birds, and trees. Purchase some guides to local wildlife/flora and spend some time identifying what you have around you.
Bring nature inside – This is a big one! Every kid should have the opportunity to bring nature inside to continue the exploration and free play that it provides, but it is especially important for city dwelling kids! Set up a nature table and let your children bring home leaves, pinecones, seashells, branches, rocks, acorns, etc. to investigate and play with. If you need some help with doing this, check out my Nature Hack Your Child’s Space ecourse!
Ride a bike – I know that it can be a bit nerve-wracking to let your children ride their bikes on the road, but with proper safety training and a good route (try MapMyRide!), it can be a great way to get out and enjoy nature AND explore more of your city together. Most US cities are working hard to make their streets more bike-friendly, so it’s a great opportunity for you to make your voice heard if your city is discussing these infrastructure changes!
Make the most of vacations – If you’re a city dweller, try to plan vacations or weekend getaways that are NOT in another city. Go to beaches, mountains, forests, national parks, etc. When you’re not home, give your kids the chance to get out into nature and explore her beauty!
Do you live in a city? What are your favorite ways to explore and enjoy nature with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!