Getting kids into an outdoorsy lifestyle can be a challenge for parents. Often, the outdoor activities that adults love end up trying children’s patience and ultimately frustrating the both of you. You can combat this effect, however, by tailoring the outdoor activities you enjoy to keep your kids interested and engaged. Try out the following activities to plant the seeds of a love for the outdoors in your kids– then, you can simply watch that passion grow along with them.
Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities among all demographics. But, to a child first learning, it can be confusing, intricate, and even a little boring. To get your kids started on the water, keep it simple by picking up some spin cast rods and reels and heading out after aggressive, easy to catch game fish like crappie and bluegill. For location, any local pond or lake will do. Using anything from worms to hot dog bits all but guarantees a good bite. And, as the fish roll in, your child will get a healthy dose of the fun and excitement that fishing brings. Just remember to avoid taking them on the long, often fruitless trips that occur when going after more challenging game fish.
2. Squirrel and varmint hunting
Hunting, much like fishing, tries the discipline and attention span of younger kids. Whereas you are content to sit in a stand for hours on end waiting to catch a glimpse of a turkey or deer, children will often find it unbearably dull. After making sure your child is trained and certified in your state to hunt and shoot, it is best to start them out with small game. The constant action and excitement will ease them into more challenging big game hunting. Additionally, the many opportunities to shoot will greatly enhance their safety knowledge, familiarity, and comfort with firearms.
If you child isn’t yet ready to hunt or fish, then simply going for a hike with them in the woods is a simple and fun outdoor activity that they will enjoy. You can seize the opportunity by teaching them about the outdoors as you go along. For instance, as you pass a mossy tree trunk, explain that you can tell direction using the fact that moss accumulates more heavily on the north side of trees. Kids are like sponges, and doing things like this regularly will give them a healthy knowledge of the outdoors before you know it.
Perhaps the most engaging outdoor activity to do with your kids is riding a motorized outdoor vehicle. Make sure you follow all necessary safety precautions closely, and take them out for a spin on your ATV. The rush of riding (responsibly, of course) is something they’re sure to love and look forward to. Being around motorized outdoor vehicles from a younger age will also benefit them as they get old enough to drive one, as they will already be familiar and comfortable with them.
Though you might worry that your kids simply don’t have interest in the outdoors, bringing them along with you for these activities will almost certainly pique it. By just adjusting the things you already love to do to introduce your kids to them, you can rest assured that they will be outdoor junkies in no time.