Nature Learning Activities For Kids And Why They Are Important
It’s safe to go outside again! We’ve finally hit that time of year where you and your family can walk outside without getting hit with a wall of heat. That makes fall the perfect season to get your kids outdoors and learn about nature. You don’t need any fancy gear or high technology to reap the benefits of it, either. Here are some great nature learning activities to get you started.
There’s a real benefit for kids to get outside and into natural spaces. Research shows green space lowers kids’ stress levels and improves their cognitive function. Now more than ever, nature learning activities can provide your kids with some respite from the stresses of the last year and a half. It also promotes exercise and physical health -- because who can sit still when there’s so much to explore?
Another benefit? Being in nature helps fight obesity. Multiple studies show a positive association between access to green space and physical activity. Here in Texas, we have the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that is eager to get the littlest Texans interested in the state around them.
One suggestion from TPWD? Making rock art. Let your kids pick up their rocks of choice and let their imaginations go crazy.
Nature crafts are easy on the pocketbook -- because your kids will be collecting the materials to paint rocks or make a collage or diorama. Whether it’s a dry riverbed made of pebbles and sand and glued to a piece of construction paper, or a collage of leaves collected from your yard, this is an easy activity to get your kids started.
The Metroplex is home to hundreds of species of native plants and animals. Introduce your little ones to them with a game of I Spy. It can be anything from scarlet sage or coral honeysuckle to an armadillo to a rat snake. Take your kids for a walk, and have them call out the first five native plants or animals they see. Not only is it good exercise in a soothing green space, but it’s also an outdoor learning experience that blends good old-fashioned fun with lessons in botany and zoology.
Get Away From The City
You don’t have to go far to feel like you’re away from the city in DFW. There are dozens of parks and nature areas where you can get your kids away from the concrete. In fact, the Dallas Park System is one of the largest municipal park systems in the country with nearly 400 parks to choose from. Watch the sunset at White Rock Lake or check out the wildflowers on the Cedar Ridge Preserve Trail
If you’re up for a weekend trip, the big Texas sky's the limit. Nature Rocks North Texas is a valuable resource for places to go and things to do in Nature, whether they are close to home here in DFW or a few hours down the road. Either way, going to the park to play, hike or camp is a great way to get your little ones’ heart rates up and get them breaking a sweat.
North Texas is blessed with plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures well into the autumn or even the winter, so you and your kids can take advantage of all there is to do outside. It’s a great way to put down the screens, and get out of the house -- and find out for yourself why researchers say kids who connect with nature are happier and smarter!
Mara Ashford lives for adventure. She's traveled to 56 countries (and counting!), climbing every mountain and kayaking every river she found along the way. She shares her passion for the great outdoors with her three children, who now run faster than she can.