7 Tips to Get  Your Grandkids
Off Video Games
and Outdoors Discovering the Magic of Nature
If you’re like me, you grew up playing outside until the sun went down. Open fields, tumbleweeds, bugs, birds, lizards…you name it. But over the years, technology blossomed and society changed. Now kids spend more time indoors on gaming consoles, tablets, or cell phones. Wouldn’t you love to see your grandkids outside discovering  the magic of nature like you did when you were young? So would I, so I’ve got 7 tips to help you get them there.

Outdoor Board Games 
If your grandchild isn’t used to spending time outside, play board games outdoors to get them used to being out in the sunshine and fresh air.

Start with a Walk
Start small and work your way up to more time outdoors. Shoot for a 30-minute neighborhood walk with your grandkid outside once a week. After a while, make the walks longer, and eventually take hikes on trails instead of neighborhood sidewalks.

Recreate what They Like 

Admit gaming is fun for your grandchildren and ask what they like and try to recreate it. If they like discovering new things or hitting new levels in video games, do a scavenger hunt to find unfamiliar things. Later, do another but make the items harder to find. Then do it again, but even tougher so it becomes a new challenge each time.
Sit Spot

Find a quiet place outdoors, away from people, to sit together without talking or moving. Listen to the sounds of nature. Don’t say a word. The longer you sit quietly, the more animals will start to show themselves. You might see of something you’ve never seen before, and what child wouldn’t be excited about that? As you leave, be as quiet as possible…pretend you’re a fox hunting for food.

A Day at the Zoo

Something as simple as a trip to your local zoo, aquarium, or a wildlife rehabilitation center (that allows visitors) can really get kids excited about wildlife. If available, a behind-the-scenes tour is sure to raise the excitement level, especially if petting or holding an animal is involved.
Life List of a Budding Biologist

If your grandchild is interested in a specific animal, help him learn about it. Many people who have an interest in birds, create a life list of every species they see, and travel around the world to grow their list. Helping your grandkid keep a list may help develop an intense interest for insects, birds, butterflies, or something else. It may even lead to a career as a biologist, such as the American biologist, naturalist, and writer, E.O.Wilson, who specializes in the study of ants.

Strike a Pose

Grab your phone or camera and your grandkids and try to find things to take pictures of. Let them choose  and even take the pictures. Just note, if you’re trying to take pictures of birds, it may take some time, because when you get close enough, they fly away. Insects, plants, and some reptiles are much easier to photograph. Better yet, animal tracks don’t move at all!

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© Anna Gateley-Stanton