10 Benefits of Taking your Kids Bush Walking

Bushwalking activity

Bush walking (and or hiking) is for all ages, from little babies that can be carried, toddlers who can walk and children and teens that can run! Stephen Kellert (author and Yale professor) said ‘going outdoors (in nature) is the most information rich and stimulating environment children will encounter.’  Just this week, in a radio interview on NPR,  he said that ‘children now spend 52 hours a week on electronic devices and only 40 minutes a week outside’.  So why should you take your children bush walking often?

1.  It gets them outside. Many children are becoming more house bound. Even the backyards built on house lots today are shrinking to a piece or grass that you can’t even roll on. Getting children outside gives them fresh air, space and time to think.

2.  It helps children connect with wild animals. I love going to the zoo but I would prefer to see an animal out in the wild. It’s important for children to learn about the difference between wild and captive animals and to explore the more natural habitats of wildlife.nature activities for kids

3.  Allows them to use their senses. Children will be able to hear, smell, see and feel things they haven’t before. Imagine your child hearing cicadas and birds flying past their heads, smelling the rainforest, feeling ferns, moss and river rocks and seeing an array of wild animal in front of their eyes. If you’re quiet enough, you may even spy an unsuspecting mammal!

4.  Encourages them to communicate about and understand the world. When I’m bush walking I have time to think and I ask questions about our world. I notice that Miss Possum does this too but she speaks out loud and asks simple questions about the nature around her.  Understanding the world helps to place where you are in it.

Children in Nature

5. It gets the body moving. We all know it’s important to stay healthy. Going for a bush walk is great for your fitness and the best part is that it doesn’t feel like exercise!

6.  It gives them the opportunity to connect with nature. Nature in a bush, rainforest or desert is so versatile. You’ll never know every plant; you’ll never know every insect. Seeing the glory that is nature drives us to connect with its beauty and understand it harshness.

Moss

7. It’s free. So often we complain that we shouldn’t go anywhere because we can’t afford it but really there’s plenty of free things we can do out in nature. We found a bush walking track only 15 minutes from our house, we didn’t even realise it was there.  Find your local national park by looking online or at a local map. Most National parks are free but you may have to pay a small fee to use some of them.

bush walking with kids

8.  It builds the family bond. Bush walking with your family allows you to communicate with one another more easily. You have the time to talk, it’s nice and quiet in the bush and you’re more relaxed to do so. Going on a bush walk can really bring your family together because, for that moment, you throw away the stress and live in the now.

9. It helps build lifelong skills. It teaches children to stick to the path, respect the local fauna and flora and it’s also a great place to teach teenagers survival skills and ways to not get lost.

10.  Helps Save Nature and Wildlife. I’ll leave you with a quote with this point that says it all.

 

conservation message

When did you last go bush walking?

 

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Comments

  1. says

    What a great list! We love taking walks in nature, too – especially as a family. My youngest seems to have boundless energy and nature walks are one of the few things that help him stay focused & rest well.

    • Penny says

      Can you go bushwalking? I’d think it might be dangerous where you are. Still, seeing what you see in your backyard is probably spectacular enough. Would you ever get sick of it?

      • says

        We’ve only done very short walks with the kids but I’m looking forward to doing longer walks when they are older and better at listening. It looks like you have a pretty spectacular backyard too!

        • Penny says

          Oh no, that’s not my backyard ( I wish!). It’s just a little bushwalk close to our house. Our backyard is so small ( more of a reason to get out and about with the kids). If we decide to moe, a bigger backyard that I can make into a wildlife garden is a must,

        • Penny says

          Oh no, that’s not my backyard ( I wish!). It’s just a little bushwalk close to our house. Our backyard is so small ( more of a reason to get out and about with the kids). If we decide to more, a bigger backyard that I can make into a wildlife garden is a must,

  2. Danya Banya says

    We go “bushwalking” in the reserve at the end of our road. It’s enough bush for our 2.5 year old & 4 month old to handle for now. But I can’t wait til they’re older and we can take them all over the place. :)

    • Penny says

      I hear ya! I was really surprised how well the Twinkles did. They just kept on walking. It was me who said that we should urn around now. I think they like bushwalking as much as their mummy!

  3. says

    This is a fnatastic list Penny. We are lucky enough to have a little pocket of bushland and a creek right in the middle of suburbia and we love strolling down there. There’s always something to check out – fungi on a tree trunk, mossy rocks, leaves, even a bower bird’s nest.

  4. says

    Any tips on getting husbands to bush walk?! lol, the kids love going on walks, but husband of mine is not so keen sadly… and your hair is gorgeous, I hope Little Miss Q keeps her gorgeous red too :-)

    • Penny says

      Hmm, so, he’s not active? Hubby only does it because he hates sitting around the house! So, perhaps suggest it when he’s really bored and can’t think of anything else to do. Tomorrow might be a good day if the weather lets up. SO over being indoors!

      • says

        I will try that thanks :-) Although he rarely gets bored… I am sure I just need to find my moment, or find an exciting location! And he is active, very active, I think that is why he thinking walking is not so great in fact :-)

        • Penny says

          Well, remind him that going bushwalking will encourage your children to be active and build their fitness. There’s no reason why you and the kiddies can’t go without him. That might just make him come with you. ;)

  5. says

    I couldn’t agree more Penny…what a fab list of reasons! We haven’t tried bushwalking with the twins yet as i don’t think i could handle the stress with Ruby running off at moment but we do like to walk all around our own little bushes and trees to see what we can find. i am always amazed at the things they point out that i totally missed!

    • Penny says

      I know, it’s almost like children can see thing we don’t. The twinkles pointed out the moss when we were bushwalking and I completely missed it. Had they not shown me, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make the terrarium I made the other day ( that will be posted here soon).

  6. says

    What a beautiful post! We call it plain hiking in my neck of the woods… but I really like the sound of “bush wacking” – so adventurous! :)

    We love to hike with our kids, and you bring out some wonderful reminders of why it’s such a fantastic way to raise your family. You have a lovely blog!

  7. Jane says

    Well written! Kids needs the freedom when walking to explore, climb trees, cart wheel and follow ant trails! We always try to stop on long drives at rest stops with walking trails and to explore all our local walks too. How good is it to pack a few snacks and spend a day where we are not constantly digging into our pockets for money…. instead we can be teaching our children to revel in nature!

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