Happy Healthy Kids Through Outdoor Recreation
Teach kids the joy of sitting quietly, listening to the sounds of nature. Camping can be a great way to help kids unwind from their busy fast-paced schedule of endless activities.
Helping kids relax:
If camping is new to your child make sure you give them ample opportunity to slooooow down. Most kids today are rushing from school to soccer practice, eating a quick fast-food meal in the car so they can get home to do there homework and hit the sack, only to get up the next day and do it all over again. So the slower more relaxed pace of camp may feel strange at first.
On the way to camp:
Play a CD designed to help you and your child to identify the sounds of the different animals you'll likely hear at camp. This offers 2 benefits. First it will help make some of the "scary" new sounds more familiar and it ill provide an activity during your camping vacation. Once at camp turn it into a game and see who can identify the most animals just by the way they sound.
Bring along age appropriate animal and bird identification books or coloring pages printed from the internet of animals you are likely to see on your trip.
Encourage your kids to tun off the gameboy and tune out the ipod and really listen to the sounds of nature. Make a game of identifying all the sounds you hear...
- the wind in the trees
- the rustle of a chipmunk in the grass
- a waterfall or stream
- birds - how many different bird sounds are there?
Other relaxing ideas:
- skipping stones
- watching the rhythmic dance of the waves
- blowing dandelions
- collecting colorful leaves in the fall
- sketch wildflowers
- build rock cairns
- if you are at the beach build sandcastles or driftwood forts
Before you know it your kids will be kicking back like old pros - they'll mostly have forgotten about the gameboy and the ipod.