10 Life Lessons Your Child Can Learn Outdoors
Motherhood is filled with so many challenges. We feel like we need to teach them everything we can before our children reach adulthood. It can be frustrating at times and rewarding at others. Sometimes we will feel like what we are doing is not enough. At other times we may feel like we may be doing it all wrong. What if I told you that instead of teaching them life lessons we need to let them have experiences that will teach them these life lessons?
Yes! I said it! We need to let our kids have experiences that will teach them life lessons.
I'm the kind of person that learns better by touching, diagnosing, and doing hands on training lessons. I understand things better through my own experience with taking in what I am observing and doing my own conclusions. This is why I believe that kids should also learn some things through experiences. Sorry but not everything can be taught in the classroom. Somethings you just learn on your own.
I have learned through my own kids that the outdoors is a great classroom to learn many things. A simple camping or hiking trip can teach you many valuable lessons. Here are some that I feel my kids have learned through their experiences outdoors.
Patience is a crucial one in my family. My little ones tend to be very impatient always asking, "Are we there yet?" My oldest has gotten better over the years though. She has learned that instead of rushing through our hiking trails she can take more in by soaking up the beauty of our surroundings. Next you know, we are there.
I remember always telling her that she needs to soak life up. I would point at something pretty or unique such as a weird looking tree or a stream and show her how beautiful these things are. By having her point things out that she found to be unique or very pretty, she came to find that our time on the trail went by faster and was more enjoyable. She learned to be patient by looking at the beauty around her.
ENDURANCE AND PERSEVERANCE
Through our hikes, my daughters have learned endurance. They have learned to push their limits to reach the end of the trail. They learned to not give up and keep on trekking through the dirt trail. To climb mountains and not be afraid to slip and fall. I feel that when they push their limits during the hard parts of our hikes they learn that they can do anything they put their minds too.
They learn to be strong mentally. When we go on hikes they sometimes reach a point where they just want to give up. With a little push from us and a whole lot of motivation they learn to find that inner strength to overcome those thoughts and push to finish the hike like a champ.
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On every hike we go my girls always want to pick flowers or find animals. I have seen their love for nature grow. They go above and beyond to point out the unique trees or the pretty flowers. To find even find tracks and search for different animals. It's just amazing to see how their love for the outdoors just grows more and more with each hike or camping trip that we do.
While outdoors I always teach my girls about Leave No Trace principles and how to better take care of our outdoors and even our planet. During our hikes my daughters will pick up trash, stay on the trail, and do a few other things that have taught them responsibility. When we go camping they will do dishes with me, clean up around the campsite, and even help me out when cooking or setting up camp. They have learned that when we work together around the campground the better it is for everyone.
On every hike or camping trip I strive to teach them knew things. Our main ones are the different birds or wild animals that we see, how to properly dispose of trash, or even learning new tracks. I have also taught them how to be curious and ask questions. This way we can all learn something new.
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Another life lesson that I feel they have really learned is creativity. I try to always let their creative minds flow. I let them look at the clouds and tell me what they look like to them or even trees. The other week my daughters found a stick that looked like Olaf's arm and they were so excited about it. They will even gather acorns, pine cones, grass, rocks, etc and make "camp soup" for all of us. It's the little things that help their imaginations flow freely.
Self care is one that doesn't come by easy with little ones. I mean what little kid wants to brush their teeth? But this is a different kind of self care. I have been teaching my girls to take a moment to take it all in while we are outdoors. A moment to just close your eyes and clear your mind, listen to the wind, and just enjoy the feeling in your surroundings. It's cute when she does it from time to time randomly. My youngest doesn't quiet get the concept yet but she does it for a good minute and then gets this random spark of energy. It's cute.
While on the trail they have also learned to be more observant of their surroundings by watching where they step on, what to do when they get hurt, what to look out for, and what things to listen out for. They have learned to be careful and always hydrate while on the trail and I feel like that is something important for young kids to learn.
There is nothing like taking the TV away, loosing cell signal, and not having the comfort of your own home that will put you in a humble position. Sometimes roughing it can really help open your eyes and appreciate the things you have at home. I feel that camping really does this for us in a good and fun way.
Well these are some of the lessons that I feel my kids have learned while outdoors. What lessons do you think your child has learned most of? Any key points that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to see how the outdoors help give your kids these special life lessons.
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