Friday, July 15, 2016

A love for nature and the outdoors

"Let's go outside!"I love when I can say those three words to my child and she jumps up at the chance to go outside and play. She has a love of the outdoors and nature that my older two children don't have. There is nothing wrong with this, as each child is different. My older kids get out, not as much as I would like, but they do get outside. I will say, it takes more of an effort on my part to get them to go outside, usually grudgingly, but they do. 

Why do they have less love for nature and outdoors than my youngest? Maybe because I was not at home with them at this young age like I am with Lena? I worked full time and they were at a sitter or daycare. When I wasn't working and had the time with the kids, I wasn't into the outdoors myself. It was a different time and place for me. Austin and Serenity are also different kids. They play sports and have their musical instruments which keep them busy. Oh, and they now have Poke'mon Go. We can't forget that. I will say, it has gotten them out on more evening walks with us. 

Lena is a completely different beast. She LOVES to be outside. She will bring you her shoes and ask to go out. If given the chance, she would play for hours in water, whether it be a pool, creek or puddle. I love that. She enjoys our hikes and being around the other kids in our local Hike it Baby group. (I HIGHLY recommend joining your local HiB group if you have kids and love the outdoors and hiking. It's worth it!) 

Messy doesn't bother this little girl either. I've come to accept it as a part of having kids so I just have myself a good wash routine for stains. We will even wear nicer clothes out and if they get dirty, so be it. Life is too short to waste worrying about my little girl getting her new dress dirty. I want what she wears to be enjoyed and where she loves to be, which is outside. Luckily, the majority of what I put on Lena is pretty casual and simple, so we don't ruin a lot of clothes in the end. 

I'm grateful that I changed my own lifestyle so that I could enjoy nature and the outdoors with my children. I don't even mind that my oldest aren't as into it since I have Lena who will enjoy it all for them. Austin and Serenity will still join us on hikes, and I still urge them to go outside, but I don't push extremely hard. They are good kids and active in other ways. They appreciate nature and the outdoors when they are there and that's good enough for me. 

We will continue teaching our children about nature, what it has to offer and how we can take care of it for the future. Our next little one will be out on walks and hikes with us not long after he gets here. I can't wait. I plan on soaking it all in and making loads of memories. Which reminds me, it's time to see if Lena and the kids want to go outside. 

Do your children have a love of nature? What do you do to encourage it? I'd love to hear some of the things you do! Leave me a comment below. 

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