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GUEST BLOG POST- by Laura Pearson

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Helping Your Child with Safe, Educational Exploration


Photo via Pixabay by Mcconnmama

Most kids love to play outside, but it’s important that they get more out of their playtime than just fun. There are plenty of ways your little ones can get outdoors and explore while learning. It’s imperative for kids of all ages to be safe, no matter what they are doing. Whether they’re interested in insects, animals, or simply checking out the landscape for interesting rocks and leaves, you can encourage your children to participate in fun outdoor activities that will help them get social, stay active, and learn more about the world around them.

It’s a good idea to think about what your children are already interested in and look for ways to expand upon that. There are tons of avenues for them to explore in your own backyard, but if you don’t narrow it down, chances are that they’ll lose interest and won’t want to continue. It’s also important that you make exploration safe, so check out the area to ensure there are no hazards.

Keep reading for some more tips on how to help your children have fun while learning and exploring.

Geology

Digging in the dirt is always fun for little ones, and learning about the rocks and other natural elements that surround your home can be fun as well as educational. Backyard geology gives children an actual excuse to dig around in the dirt while still learning, which can encourage even the most skeptical kids to at least give it a try. Look for a book at your local library that shows examples of the different types of rock native to your area and share it with your child; you might be fostering a lifelong passion that turns into a career! For more on the wonders of backyard geology, read on here.

Create Stations

Giving your children a variety of things to explore and play with is one of the keys to helping them stay interested. Consider creating stations in the backyard for bird-watching, water-play, digging, and building. Allowing your children to use their imaginations and work with different tools and natural items, which will help them explore even more and perhaps find something they really enjoy doing.

Explore as a family

Exploring as a family will help your children feel safe and comfortable with trying new things. Some ideas include going on a camping trip, heading to nearby caves, or going for a hike. Encourage your children to keep a nature journal to keep track of all the fun things you do and find. Encourage them to keep a collection of rocks, leaves, and other small items. Help them find a special place to display their treasures. Talk about what you should do next and give them some say in what your next adventure should be.

Make it Safe

Making sure your children are safe while they explore is imperative. Take a look in your backyard to scout out possible hazards. These may include toxic plants, splintered wood, loose screws on play equipment, and droppings that could indicate a dangerous animal is nearby, particularly if you live in a rural area. Doing one of these checks every few days will ensure that your children will be able to explore safely and without worry of injury.

When your children get outside to play and learn, they’re building better ways to be social, to relate to material they are learning in school, and to use their imaginations. Encouraging them to get creative and look for new ways to learn will help them in many facets of life, both now and in the future. As summer is winding down, try to get a few of these adventures in before school starts again.

© Laura Pearson


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