In this fast-paced world we live in, it’s hard to find time to enjoy nature with your family. And when you finally get everyone outside, everyone’s eyes are glued to their phones.

Spending time in nature reduces stress and encourages kids to use their imaginations. It’s like camping in the woods, jumping into a cool lake on a hot summer day or watching animals in the wild are nature’s medicine.

So, if you’re looking for ways to get your kids interested in nature, here’s a few things you can try.

Ditch the phones

Technology can be distracting, so ditch the phones and give yourself some digital breathing room when you go for a hike or fishing trip. You’ll soon find that unplugging and simply being in nature can be a rewarding experience all on its own.

If you think your kid will get bored watching birds or taking a stroll in the woods, plan on doing something that will keep them busy. Grab a paddle and take them out on the lake in a canoe, or ride a mountain bike on a back country trail. Before long, their phones will be an afterthought.

Use your phones to enhance your outdoor adventures

Eliminating distractions is a great way for you and your kids to get the most out of nature, but did you know there are ways technology can enhance your time outside?

Grab your phones and take the kids to a local state park for an exciting treasure-hunting game, known as geocaching. This entertaining adventure game requires a GPS-equipped device or phone to find geocache locations by coordinates. Buried treasures often include coins or medallions, toys or ornamental items. Once a geocache is discovered, log your find and leave behind something for the next person to unearth.

Click here to see a list of geocaches at West Virginia’s state parks and forests.

Enjoy yourself

Maybe you’ve tried everything, and your kids still don’t seem to be taking an interest. Sometimes, it’s best to take a step back and let your kids discover the wonders of nature on their own. Instead of making plans for your kids, let them take the lead. If they feel like they’re in charge, they’re more likely to feel engaged.

Regardless of what you do, enjoy your time together and focus on making good memories your kids will fondly look back on. That kind of positive reinforcement is bound to make a lasting impression and foster a love for the outdoors.