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Preparing your child for outdoor adventures: A parent’s guide

Outdoor adventures offer an incredible opportunity for children to explore, learn, and grow.
Whether it’s a day out in the Scottish Borders, a camping trip near Edinburgh, or an exploration in Glasgow’s green spaces, the great outdoors is a fantastic classroom.

As parents, preparing your child for these experiences not only ensures they have a great time but also fosters a deep, lifelong connection with nature.
Here’s how you can get your little adventurer ready for their next outdoor journey.

Packing the essentials

Packing for an outdoor adventure can be both exciting and daunting.
To make sure your child has everything they need, start with a comprehensive checklist:

Layering is key. Include waterproof and windproof jackets, hats, and gloves for colder weather, and breathable, lightweight clothes for warmer days. Don’t forget extra socks!

Durable, waterproof hiking boots or shoes are essential for keeping those little feet comfortable and protected.

A lightweight, child-sized backpack can carry their water bottle, snacks, and any personal items. Encourage your child to pack it with you so they know where everything is.

Sun Protection:
A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are must-haves, regardless of the season.

Water Bottle:
Staying hydrated is crucial. Choose a durable, leak-proof bottle that’s easy for your child to use.

Emotional Readiness

Emotional Readiness

Emotional preparation is just as important as the physical. Discussing what to expect and how to deal with various situations can help alleviate any anxieties:

Talk about the adventure :

Discuss the activities planned and what the environment might be like. If possible, show them pictures or maps of where they’ll be going.

Set Expectations:

Explain that while adventures are fun, they can also involve challenges like weather changes or getting tired. Emphasize that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable sometimes and that you’re proud of them for trying new things.

Encourage independence:

Allow your child to make small decisions during the preparation process, like choosing their snacks or picking out their clothes. This fosters a sense of independence and confidence.


If this is your child’s first outdoor adventure, try a few shorter, local trips to parks or trails to get them accustomed to being outside for longer periods.

The Benefits of outdoor play and learning

Outdoor adventures are more than just fun; they’re fundamental to your child’s development. Here are a few benefits:

Physical Health:

Active play helps build strong bones, muscles, and improves overall physical fitness.
Mental Well-being: Time spent in nature can reduce stress and improve mood, benefiting your child’s emotional health.

Learning and Creativity:

The outdoors is a natural learning environment where children can think, question, and make connections, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.
Environmental Awareness: Early experiences with nature help cultivate a sense of responsibility towards the environment and a lifelong appreciation for wildlife and conservation.

Continuing the engagement at home

Bringing the spirit of adventure home encourages continuous learning and appreciation for the outdoors:

Create a nature Journal:

Encourage your child to draw or write about their outdoor experiences. This not only helps them reflect on what they’ve learned but also develops their observation and writing skills.

Garden Camping:

Set up a tent in your garden for a night under the stars. It’s a great way to practice camping skills in a safe, familiar environment.

Nature Crafts:

Collect natural materials during your adventures to use in crafts at home. This could be anything from leaf painting to building fairy houses.

Grow a garden:

Even a small container garden can teach children about plants and the importance of caring for living things.

Outdoor adventures offer invaluable experiences for children, filled with fun, learning, and growth.
By preparing your child for these experiences, you’re not just setting them up for a great time; you’re also laying the foundation for a healthy, happy, and environmentally conscious life.

Here at The Wild Outdoors, we believe every child deserves the chance to explore, and we’re here to make those adventures as enriching as possible.

Happy adventuring!

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If you receive child vouchers, we can now convert them into credit to use on Wild Outdoors Camps.

Simply go to our contact page and select the childcare vouchers option in the subject, then send us an email with your contact details and who your provider is and how much you would like. We can then add credit to your wallet for you to book when you would like.

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