Research is out to prove what is already a good idea– getting outside can improve our health and well-being. In recent news, more studies suggest that for children in particular, time spent in the natural light of the outdoors can help many avoid the need for eyeglasses (Washington Post).
Here at National Geographic, we believe that getting outside is critical to developing curiosity and appreciation of the natural environment around us. As wishlists fill up with toys and games that keep kids glued to more and more screens for longer and longer, the idea of getting them outside can feel like a losing battle. But it is more important than ever to get kids outside enjoying nature-rich activities which can make them healthier, more creative and better able to manage stress.
In this spirit, National Geographic Kids magazine, editor in chief, Rachel Buchholz has seven gift ideas to help you get kids outside in nature all year long.
Give the Gift of Nature this Holiday: 7 Ways to Get Kids Excited to Explore
1. An outdoor experience. Have a Frozen fan in the house? What about tickets to go ice skating or ice skating lessons? Or a weekend for an adventure to an unexpected destination like the beach in the winter? National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide is filled with fun activities kids can do no matter where they are.
2. A camera. Cameras can encourage kids to investigate and take notice of the world around them. They also encourage kids to look more closely and appreciate nature both the moment they take the shot and when they flip through or print out pictures. Whether you get a kid-specific camera or a basic point and shoot, digital cameras are no longer the hefty investment they once were. And when kids get home, safe online photo communities for kids, like National Geographic Kids MyShot, will let them share and discuss their pictures with fellow budding photographers.
3. A magazine subscription. Instead of getting one gift, the child gets something every month full of stories to get them excited to explore the world. And the best part is the magazines are addressed to them.
4. A membership. Whether it is to a local zoo, aquarium, museum or planetarium, a membership is something kids can feel proud about and often comes with perks like discounts, magazines or online experiences.
5. Books inspire and spark ideas of exploration. Want to spark an interest in backyard exploration? How about a book all about your favorite creepy crawlies? Have an animal lover in the house? How about stories all about animals around the world that inspires kids to explore?
6. Hat and gloves. The best way to test these is to get outside and start using them!
7. A bike or scooter. What kid doesn’t want to explore the neighborhood by bike or scooter? For the littlest bikers, balance bikes are a great way to start exploring without pedals.