Are you often wondering what to do with your little ones? What kind of adventure to go on? You’re wanting to go on a walk but don’t feel like going alone. Wanting to explore new trails and get your toddler to connect with other children their age.
Well, I was wondering the same thing about a year ago. So I decided to reach out to other families and see if they wanted to join me on some nature adventures. I was shocked to see the response; 1 month later and the group reached over 350 parents and The Little Explorers was born.
Children nowadays don’t get enough outdoor unstructured play and it is with a lot of passion that I’m sharing my love for nature with other families to make it easier for them to get out and explore.
Physical literacy is so important for children and the younger you introduce them to nature and being active outdoors, the better they will understand the importance of it.
The Little Explorers gets kids out in a couple of different ways: going outside and participating in age-appropriate sports and activities together.
Here is what I’ve learned from my experiences running this group about the benefits of both these things.
Getting kids outside is as simple as taking a walk
A simple nature walk can sound boring to some but there are so many benefits for both you and your child. The stimulation you experience in the outdoors ignites all of 5 senses and offers a sensory experience you can’t get anywhere indoors. If like me you don’t want to go alone, recruit another family or families to join. Even better, make it a regular outing in your calendar.
What kids get out of a walk in nature
- Allows them to explore new trails and parks
- Creates more independence and self-confidence
- Enhances social skills like making new friends and dealing with their feelings towards them
- Stimulates all 5 senses
- Free activity for the whole family
- Gets them moving and developing physical literacy
- Gives them the opportunity to connect with nature
- Ignites the imagination
- Being outside and breathing in fresh air:
1. Boosts the immune system by helping white blood cells work properly
2. Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
3. Boosts energy, which helps brains function better and improves concentration skills
4. Increases serotonin which increases happiness.
So it’s proven, spending time outside will make you and your family feel better overall. We all need some outdoor time, at least 1 hour per day. So start today and get out with your little ones, rain or shine, you can still make it fun and you will all come back home happier after an outdoor adventure.
Introduce your child to age-appropriate sports and activities.
This year, with The Little Explorers, we have started a toddlers Bike club as well as a Climbing club and the turnout has been amazing. We’ve got over 90 families that have been joining our sports clubs and watching the kids perform and enjoy themselves at each session has been so rewarding.
Introducing young children to new sports and activities will not only develop their physical and social skills but it will also give them the opportunity to lots of things and get an idea of what they like. While doing so, they will also use different muscles, and develop skills like sharing with others, taking turns, and observing techniques.
What kids get out of trying to sports and activities
- Learning new skills
- Building strong body muscles
- Interacting with other children
- Building confidence and better self-esteem
- Refining reflexes and agility, coordination, and balance
- Learning about the importance of sports
- Build up their endurance
- Learning to focus
- Working on flexibility skills
- Allows them to spend their energy
It’s been amazing to see how much the children have improved in a short amount of time. Our Bike Club started in June and we now cover double the distance than we used to. The children are so agile and are learning skills so quickly. Doing this as a group gives kids opportunities to see their peers riding a bike or climbing a wall and that increases their confidence that they can do these things too.
In conclusion, you don’t need to do a lot for your kid to start connecting with nature and to be physically literate, you just need to give them plenty of opportunities to get out and try new things, they will figure out the rest on their own.