How to connect with nature through family cycling
3 September 2021
How to connect with nature through family cycling
By Carl Borg at Outforia.com
Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to encourage a bond between nature and your children. You can do so many things to bring kids into nature and spend family time among the trees and leaves. Arguably one of the best ways is cycling in it.
There is a whole world of forest paths and safe cycleways throughout cities to explore as you begin cycling with your family. If you want to know how to get started connecting with nature over the wheels of your bike, here are some suggestions we have put together:
Connect with nature using cycling
There are all kinds of things you can do to encourage a love of nature for your children. Cycling doesn’t just have to be plain, old cycling, especially if they are yet to love it. Instead, make a game of it or add a couple more layers to the adventure.
Explore the surrounding areaYou might have routine paths that you take during the evening or various routes you travel when you go out over the weekend. However, the world is full of cycle paths to explore.
Expand your kid’s awareness of the surrounding world by taking them all over the area you live. Try new paths or combine them in different ways. You can also add an exciting end destination to make them more interested in the end goal.
Our suggestion is to not centre the trip around something like ice cream at the end, though. It takes away from the interest in anything else but the end of the journey.
Make a trip out of it
Don’t be afraid to pack up the bikes for a weekend, take a trip, and make a whole adventure centred around cycling in a new, natural environment. Going on a cycling trip can level up their excitement about cycling and what it can mean for their weekend.
Going away to various parks, national forests, or state parks can also mean a new nature experience. You might get to cycle to a waterfall or through a forest. You might want to make it an overnight or out-and-back trip as well. In that case, be armed and ready with your gear and campfire games to maximize the fun of the adventure.
Organize a scavenger huntSometimes if you have an end destination or a specific distance you are going, it can be challenging to get them to pay attention to the nature they are cycling in. To get your family interested in the surrounding area more, make a scavenger hunt for them.
You can have them look for different leaves or even help them identify plants or trees on the routes and check them off a list. You could also put out little things for them to find on trees or tucked into little areas if you want to make it even more in-depth.
Turn it into a crafting session
You can add this to the scavenger hunt, or you keep it separate so you can stretch out this list of ideas. Get the kids to collect natural materials as you go so that when you get back home, you can have a crafting session.
If you want some ideas for easy nature crafts you can do with your kids, check out this article.
Embrace the seasons
Don’t limit your family’s interaction with nature to only late spring to early Autumn. Doing so tends to make kids into “fair-weather” adventurers. Instead, come up with different kinds of activities all year round.
Tips for keeping all things safe whilst cycling
Although getting on a bike and riding it for a while might seem straightforward, there are guidelines you should stick to so you have a fun, safe experience.
Stay on the trail
Staying on cycle trails or paths helps to keep you and your family safe. However, it isn’t just about your safety, but that of nature’s as well. The more we mess around, crush and destroy natural environments, the more it affects the life cycle. So stay on the trail to protect yourselves and your surroundings.
When you go out with very young children, it is best to start with easier cycleways. It is best to avoid steep slopes, particularly when they are first learning how to cycle. When they do go down slopes, teach them not to “ride the brakes.” They should know how to pace themselves and how to use the brakes to keep themselves safe without wearing out the brake pads too quickly.
Teach road saftey
Although most kids know to look both ways when they cross the road from a young age, cycling introduces a new kind of road safety. Everything happens much faster when you are on a bike. Also, remember that you will rarely be the only person on the road or trail. Always be watchful and aware, maintaining a safe distance between you, animals, other cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles.
Cycle into nature
Integrating a love of nature into your kid’s life can start at an early age. As soon as they are ready to get on a bike, you can bring them into areas rife with nature. Show them the kinds of activities, fun and peace they can only find in nature, and a love for it is sure to grow.
Don’t let the weather stop you. Instead, inspire your kids through cycling to love nature in all kinds of climates and ways.
Written by Guest Blogger, Carl Borg, Outforia.com
Outforia is the world’s new favourite place to discover everything you seek – plus much more you never knew about – regarding the beautiful wildernesses of Planet Earth and many pastimes we humans enjoy out in them. The goal is for Outforia to become the go-to resource for all things wild. For more information visit: www.outforia.com