I try to get my daughter outside for at least 15 minutes every day. It usually morphs into more time than that, but I have found that setting a 15 minute goal on my calendar means that I'm much more likely to stick with it. Luckily, there is a park right next to my daughter's school, so we will often just stop there after I pick her up. Sometimes I try to surprise her by bringing something fun for her to do at the park. I'll bring along a few sheets of my Park Treasure Hunt sheet (with extra copies for her friends) or a piece of sporting equipment. Recently, I created this cute Field Kit for her. I had a cardboard suitcase laying around in my studio, so I used that. I stapled some ribbon holders onto the lid for her tools and then raided her room to find some goodies to put in it. I found a magnifying glass,plastic tweezers, a butterfly net and a few plastic bubble boxes. I also tucked in some pencils, crayons (for rubbings), a glue stick and a cute little notebook.
She was so excited to use the kit. I didn't really tell her how to use it. She just opened it up and began using the tools to explore the park in new ways. Which was really the whole point. I think that children living in urban or suburban areas will often play outside (usually in parks) but they tend to stay on the swings and play structures. Of course, that's great exercise and lots of imaginative games can happen there, but I also want my daughter to connect with nature; to touch leaves, to build fairy houses from rocks and twigs. By giving her things like a field kit, her connection with nature can grow and she will learn to appreciate the beauty and inspiration that exist in the world.