Vamos Afuera! Ideas for How to Encourage Your Kiddos to Enjoy the Outdoors

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It’s not everyday we get to see a Latinx family enjoying an adventure outdoors. In partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, HECHO collaborated to host an advanced screening of Dora and the Lost City of Gold across New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. 

We love that Dora understands the importance of connecting to her ancestors, learning about her Incan roots to make the journey to the Lost City of Gold. When you’re outdoors for a picnic--perhaps you’re on the lands our ancestors thrived in, and learning about that connects us to our public lands. When our public lands reflect the diverse cultures of our nation and includes the stories of all people, everyone can see how they are connected to the outdoors. 

Check out our ideas below for how to encourage and enjoy the outdoors with your family, and to reconnect to lands our ancestors cultivated and thrived in:

  • Start Small - Getting outdoors with your family doesn’t have to be difficult. Start small by enjoying a few minutes outside, or by taking your kids to the park for a picnic.

  • Pack Snacks and Drink Water - Nobody likes to adventure on an empty stomach, especially kiddos. Pack lots of high energy snacks like apples, granola, and raisins to keep spirits up. Carrying and drinking water is also critical to a positive experience.

  • No Time Constraints - When your kiddos ask to go on an adventure, let them explore at their own pace. Foster their fascination with the environment by asking what they find to be the most interesting.

  • Plan a Nature Scavenger Hunt - Help your little ones enjoy a hike by planning a nature scavenger hunt. Can they point out the prettiest flower? Can they find a feather, scout animal tracks, and spot a spider web?

  • Create a Forest Exploration Kit - Get kiddos excited about time outdoors by packing a Forest Exploration Kit. You can find binoculars, a nature log, and a compass at your local dollar store and all of those are items Explorers need to document their adventures!

  • Disposable Camera Nature Walk - Pick up a disposable camera and set out on a nature walk. Your kiddo is the photographer and in charge of taking pictures of the remarkable nature you witness, like a butterfly that takes pause on a leaf, or a bee collecting pollen. Develop the pictures later on to see what the world looks like to your little one!

Let us know how you and your family enjoy the outdoors by sending us an email at amy@hechoonline.org for a feature on this blog!