Getting Kids Outside with Ecokeepers

It is no question that there are enormous benefits of technology.  Kids these days can create and explore the world in a new way with life simulation games, but there is no substitute for the real thing. 

Nowadays kids do not get the same opportunity, as previous generations did, to linger outside and discover all that is big and small around them.  One initiative that is trying to change that is the Nature’s Path Envirokidz Ecokeepers program.  The Ecokeepers program is about getting kids outside to appreciate nature.  As Nature’s Path researched, “studies show that kids who spend time outdoors are:

  • happier and less stressed
  • see a boost in classroom performance
  • have enhanced problem-solving skills and imagination
  • are leaner
  • can experience a reduction in ADHD symptoms, and
  • better understand the need to nurture nature and how animals, plants and people are tightly connected.”

They incorporated a tangible discovery kit for kids with some technology, in the form of geocaching, to excite and invite kids into their backyards.

So here’s how we’ve played with the kit, but the sky’s really the limit for imaginative play.  We grabbed our Ecokeepers explorer guide and flipped through the pages to determine which fun activity my little guy wanted to try.  First up was I spy, where he searched for a seed, a smooth stone, a feather, etc.  Then he logged what he found beautiful and what he found icky throughout his discovery.  Next he immediate flipped to the back of the guide where he was able to put a few outdoor treasures that he found in the flap. 

A lizard

The next day we kept up the fun, by going out for a hike and hiding our geocache kit.  For those of you not familiar with geocaching, it is a treasure hunt where you use GPS coordinates in an app to try and find a nearby box.  The box contains a GPS keychain which you always leave in there.  Once you find a geocache, you can take a treasure and leave a new treasure for the next person to find.  We left 2 treasures in our box which included a finger trap puzzle and a fortune telling fish.  🙂

There it is

My son had so much fun hiding our box and wondering who would come across it on their adventure.  He wants to go back and visit it from time to time to see how it’s doing.  There is a bit of a learning curve if you want to set up your own kit, but check out the geocaching site and give it a whirl.  It’s a great way to incorporate the technology that the kids are accustomed to with outdoor exploration.

Do you see our geocache?

Can you spot it

 

We did all of these adventures, while also bringing yummy Nature’s Path Envirokidz bars in our hiking pack.  These bars are perfect for the littles and we’ve used them on hiking adventures as well as car ride treats on our way to after school activities.  When we have a car full of boys they scream out, “I want Berry…I want Chocolate…Do you have Strawberry?”  My daughter chimes in too with her requests. 

Granola Bars

Thank you to Nature’s Path for letting us try out the goodies, exploration kits and geocaching.  This is a great step for parents to get outside with their kids and for all of us to reconnect with nature.  Give it a try and if you like it, you can recommend the program to your local schools and/or camps! 

{This is a sponsored post and products herein were provided by Nature’s Path®}

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