For many parents, it can be nerve wracking to encourage your little one to find independence, explore their surroundings, and foster a sense of adventure within them. When they’re young, they’re vulnerable and unaware of the dangers of the world around them. At the same time, it’s important that they feel confident in themselves and independent as they develop. Being explorative as a child can help them learn about other cultures, environments, animals, science, and nature, and is a crucial part of their development.
So how can you support their independence and encourage an adventurous spirit while keeping them safe and healthy? We have a few tips and tricks that’ll make it easier (and a little less nerve wracking for parents).
- Show them that just being outside has benefits.
For many of us, fresh air and sunshine can go a long way in boosting our mood and providing us with a burst of energy. You don’t need a reason - like a walk, a meal, or playtime - to go outside. Even just stepping out into the sunshine for 60 seconds in the morning can do the body wonders, and it’s never too early to get your little ones in on the fun. By exemplifying what it means to take advantage of nature, you can teach them that there’s never a bad time to (safely) get outside.
- Let them lead the way.
Would it surprise your little one(s) if, while on a walk, you told them to lead the way and implied that you’d follow their explorative lead? You might be interested to see where their interests take them. Giving them an opportunity to make decisions when it comes to following their curiosity can support independence and promote an adventurous spirit. Plus, you might learn a whole lot about what your little one likes. Bugs, animals, trees, leaves, flowers...just make sure to explore safely and teach them all about leaving no trace.
- Set up camp in the backyard.
If you have yet to camp with your little ones, starting in the backyard is a great way to show them what it’s all about. Set up a tent and let your little one help you think of all the things you’d need to stay safe, warm, hydrated, and fed over the course of a night. Bonus points if you can make a safe fire in the backyard for s’mores! Camping can help teach your kiddos that being outdoors is safe and enjoyable when you have the proper gear and take the proper precautions. This activity will help them create lasting memories and encourage their sense of exploration!
How do you encourage your own little ones to get outside and explore? By helping them develop their sense of adventure, you’ll inspire them to seek out new things in new places, which could ultimately result in them growing up to love travel!