A DIY nature explorer kit that is easy to put together and encourages kids to play outdoors.
A recent survey of 12,000 parents in 10 countries (including the US) found that one-third of the kids aged 5 to 12 spend less than 30 minutes outside each day. This is less than prisoners in a maximum security facility in the US, where they are guaranteed 2 hours of outdoor time a day.
Another study shows that traditional childhood activities are in decline. Many children have never experienced flying a kite, climbing a tree, building a sandcastle or planting seeds.
Source: A J Rodriguez
This is sad but we can certainly find ways to put it in reverse and encourage kids to spend less time alone in front of screens and instead go outside, get closer to nature and play with their friends. It may be easier to do it with younger kids who are so eager to play outdoors anyway.
Starting young sets kids in a good direction and builds up a great connection with nature. Further down the line, it may be more up to parents to maintain this connection alive and help their kids establish a healthy balance between screen time and outdoor time.
A DIY nature explorer kit is a wonderful tool to assist children in engaging with nature. It can be directed to any age and focusing on any nature elements (flowers, trees) or creatures (bugs, butterflies, birds). It can be as simple as putting together just two items ( binoculars and an observation notebook) or you can add as many items as you want.
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This particular nature exploration kit is targeted towards the study of bugs. I got a small observation notebook and a pen, binoculars, net with tweezers and capture cups where bugs can be studied under magnifying lids, flashlight and light wristband for evening bug observation and an insect drawing book.