My husband did most of his growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Home to lush greenery, mild temperatures, and very few icky bugs. Heading outdoors was a joy to get to do, and as a result, he has a deep love for nature.
I was raised in the muggy deep South, where stepping outside 6 months of the year feels like taking a bath, and the bugs are as big as your fist. I, therefore, detested going outside, even as a child, and never really developed that love for the great outdoors.
Encourating a Love of the Outdoors
I hope for something different for my girls. While the weather in Chattanooga is more similar to my growing up years than to Tim’s, it has enough differences to convince me to give outdoor time some priority in our daily schedules. And my girls both love to get to go outside. I’ve been thinking about what I can do to encourage that love and not squelch it with my own personal preference for being inside.
Want to see one of my main solutions? It is a work in progress, as it needs time to “grow” but here are the bones of what is going to surely become a source for many great memories for my girls:
This is the GardenFort, available exclusively through and sent to us by Magic Cabin. It takes about 45 minutes to get completely set up, and it is ideal to have 2 people working on it, especially as you work to get the netting secure around the frame. The kit also comes with 3 varieties of seeds that will turn into lush, blooming vines. The end result is going to be something truly magical. Here’s an example :
As much as I disliked being outside, if something like this had been in my backyard, I would have had a very hard time resisting it. My girls already love to play inside of it. Darah calls it her secret fort (though it is not exactly “tucked away” in the backyard!). We are enjoying bringing blankets, books and toys outside and sitting inside of this special space. I can only imagine how magical of a place it will be to my girls when it is covered in vines and truly starts to feel like a little secret garden.
Magic Cabin is, without question, my very favorite online source for imaginative play. The GardenFort is just one example of the imaginative finds there. Here are a few of my other favorite garden related items that would be ideal for encouraging more outdoor time:
1. Swing Seat
What do you think about the GardenFort or these other great outdoor items? What do you do to encourage a love of nature and of being outside? Is it something you struggle with, personally? I’d love to hear!
Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a GardenFort from Magic Cabin!
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