Today, more and more people are trying to be more green and more environmentally conscious. What better way to to help the environment than to get your kids interested in their own planet when they are young and impressionable?
Every year parents spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on toys for their kids that often don’t even get a second look. I have friends that buy their children so many toys at Christmas time that it looks like a race to see what’s inside the next package. When they get it open you hear how great it is, but what’s in the next box? I know that kids need structured play and toys can help provide that, but do they need so many toys? Just thinking about the carbon footprint of each toy makes me want to cringe.
Every toy, board game, book, computer game, and television show has be designed and redesigned many times over in order to make in entertaining and educational for children. But what about giving your children the largest, cheapest, most environmentally friendly playground available?
What I am talking about is the great outdoors, nature is the world’s largest playground and the best part about nature is that it can be found right outside your back door and in most cases exploring nature is totally free.
You don’t have to pay for expensive toys, jungle gyms, or any number of the other expensive things that you can find at your local store. You can still give your children stimulating and educational play by exploring nature. It may mean going out in your backyard, to the park, or maybe to a local nature center, all of which will make your child think. Researchers have found that if children explore and experiment on their own to figure out the answers, they learn better and retain more information. It also helps kids to develop skills to be able to learn things on their own later. What better place to learn things than out in nature.
Playing outside is fun. It may be easy to forget but childhood isn’t just about learning how to be an adult, it’s also about having fun. Playing outside in nature gives kids a chance to use their imagination and be free to just be a kid. What may look like fun time for them right now, could turn into a future hobby, a life-long talent, a world saving invention, or a career later in their life.
If you are worried that your child isn’t getting enough structured play, check out your local parks, zoo, or museums. There is a good chance that places like this are currently offering structured classes and learning sessions that focus on the natural world and since many of these places are not for profit, they are usually affordable in addition to being educational.
In these tough economic times, people are looking for ways to cut costs. Before you spend another dollar on a toy that may or may not hold your child’s interest for more than a few minutes, think about giving your child the biggest playground possible. Spending time outside in nature is so important for developing minds. It can also be a great escape for you as well.