6 ways to help kids engage with the natural world

Get the whole family enjoying time in the garden with these fun ideas
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Looking for ways to get your little ones out and about in their own backyards?

ABC presenter and Junior Landcare ambassador, Costa Georgiadis, shares six ways to help kids engage with the natural world – and best of all, they’re pretty easy on the wallet, too!

WATCH NOW: How play helps a kid’s brain grow. Article continues after video. 

Be a nature role model

It’s important to show children that nature is not something you go to, it’s something that is all around you!

Whether it’s time spent together in the backyard or a walk around the neighbourhood, local park, creek or playground, it’s about giving children the opportunity to discover the magic in their own tiny patch.

It’s literally taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers, notice the bugs buzzing around them and feel the soil together.

The more kids observe and discover outside, the more they will want to be outdoors.

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It’s important to teach kids how to appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature. (Credit: Supplied)

Grow a food garden

There’s nothing more rewarding than watching something grow from scratch – especially if it’s something you can then use in the kitchen.

Try growing your own herbs or vegies from seed or seedlings.

Cherry tomatoes, lettuce and silverbeet are some good choices to start with and a perfect opportunity to get kids to harvest and make the connection between soil, seed and plate.

Get involved with the community

Whether it’s with your local community garden, Landcare or Junior Landcare group, go and volunteer for a few hours on the weekend or once a month.

From planting trees to weeding, this is a great way to get kids active, outdoors and can open up a world of community connections that’s good for the soul!

Kids love seeing things grow so get them involved in planting. (Credit: Getty Images)

Set up water for wildlife stations

With the weather starting to heat up, water can become scarce for our native wildlife.

Setting up water stations is a simple yet effective way to help local fauna – and can be as easy as placing some rocks and water in a bowl, container or large leaf.

This is an easy but effective way to help kids feel empowered and eager to refill their containers each morning!

Make bug or bee hotels

Making an insect or bee hotel can be as simple as placing hollowed-out stems in empty food cans or plastic planter pots, then placing them around the garden.

Kids can then regularly go and check who has made a home in your backyard hotels.

This is a good one as you get to recycle or repurpose old cans while attracting bugs to your garden at the same time.

Take a trip to wander and explore your local botanical garden. (Credit: Supplied)

Become garden detectives

Use the school holidays and weekends to explore your local botanical or community garden.

Make this a fun family tradition, encourage your kids to take photos (camera phones are handy here), keep a nature journal and choose your favourite one.

Farmers or organic markets will also do!

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