You know we’re all about embracing the outdoors to teach our kids valuable life lessons. Nature has a way of teaching youth vital skills such as socialization, conservation, and respect for natural resources. But sometimes getting the little ones outdoors to play, learn and grow simply isn’t an option. Bad weather such as rainy days or getting snowed in can put the kibosh on outdoor adventures with kids. Not to worry. Here are some creative ways you can still connect your kids with nature and continue their development – even if you’re stuck inside the home.
Plant Some Seeds
Perhaps you’ve shown your kids how tiny seeds turn into giant life lessons by planting a garden with them outside. This is a powerful way to illustrate how nature sustains life. It’s also a great way to demonstrate the integral role pollination plays in the continuation of humanity. But what if you’re stuck inside?
You can still plant some seeds to demonstrate how generous and life-giving nature is. Instill the gift of growth and development in your kids by planting fast-growing seeds in a windowsill flower box. Some of the fastest sprouting seeds that germinate well indoors are celosia, cornflower, marigold, sweet alyssum, and nasturtium. These seeds start poking through the soil in a week’s time so your little ones can start savoring the joy of an indoor flower garden.
Keep Plants Indoors
If you haven’t already, consider adopting a few potted plants and bringing them into your home. Even if you might not have a green thumb, challenge yourself and your children by getting some exotic plants. For example, an alluring angel wing begonia is a majestic houseplant that does best when it’s given ample tender loving care.
Exotic houseplants require an investment of time, nurturing, and attention. But that’s the whole point. When your kids care for specialized, sophisticated plants, it reinforces the value of life. It also teaches them about responsibility and the value of proper husbandry in nature.
Make a Nature Scrapbook
If you’ve been introducing your kids to the glory of the outdoors for a while, then you’ve likely got a ton of pictures from your outside antics. Gather all these up and make a scrapbook while you’re stuck inside during inclement weather. This is a great way for kids to remember the lessons learned through nature and also a neat way to remember all the fun you’ve all shared over the years.
Plan Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Just because you’re holed up inside the house doesn’t mean you and your kids can’t dream about your next outdoor adventure or hike. Haul out a world map, and start planning your next trip. From hiking in Yellowstone or spelunking in the amazing Mayan caves in Belize – there is no end to the dreams you and your kids can conjure for your next natural destination.
Check Your Webcams
This tip takes a little preparation. Before bad weather hits, think about setting out webcams in areas that attract a lot of wildlife. That way when you and the kids are stuck inside you can still connect with nature by viewing on a live video stream. If you don’t have the property or the budget to buy webcams, that’s okay.
You and the little ones can go online and log onto live webcams provided by US National Parks Service. Or you and the kids can play “I spy” via the Audubon’s top 10 wildlife cams. You can also find live video streaming of natural events on YouTube. From watching a mamma moose give birth to ogling sea turtles in the ocean – the realm of nature webcams is an effective way of bringing nature inside when you all are stuck indoors.
Final Thoughts About Enjoying Nature Indoors
Whether you subscribe to these tips or cook up your own fun indoors, there is a myriad of ways to incorporate nature in your home-based activities. What’s important to remember is that keeping your kids engaged with nature can be as simple as sowing a seed, or tending to a potted plant. These are just a few suggestions for leveraging the learning power of nature when you’re stuck inside. How you choose to weave nature into shut-in days is up to you, and we wish you loads of indoor fun!