Modelling a ‘can do,’ ‘will try’ attitude for children in the outdoors — in all conditions!

It’s that time of year….buzz, buzz, whack!

It’s that time of year….buzz, buzz, whack! Having young children and being a nature nut, I sometimes propel us outside into the whine of pesky insects despite the protests of my family. I’ve always abided by the saying, ’there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.’ Do mosquitos count as weather? In this country, probably…!

What’s a parent to do when the backyard or trail looks inviting, kids need to get outdoors and the air is a-buzz? This is one area where we can take a cue from our children, and consider our own reactions. Is your child happy enough to play, swat, play, swat? When my 5 year old complains, I try my darnedest to help him stay positive and if he’s happy collecting rocks or digging, to keep my own annoyance in check.

A parent who sounds quite anxious about mosquitos is bound to affect their child’s attitude. It might seem trivial, but a child who has a bit of grit in this regard is likely to spend more time outdoors in a variety of seasons and weather conditions, rather than dashing indoors at the first bug they see. If parents are prone to complaining about mosquitos (and rain, and cold weather…) before you know it, inside starts to seem like the most appealing place for everyone!

A few ideas might help you get through mosquito season with the kids: aim to dress everyone in light long-sleeved shirts and lightweight pants, with socks and shoes. Add a little bug cream/spray of your choice. You can also purchase bug shirts or even head-nets. Of course, there are times when you might want to avoid the worst of it, like at sundown, in shaded areas or near creeks. If at a beach or park try to help your child see their options before dashing inside or back to the car. ‘I notice it’s a little breezier over here, and I bet the wind will keep the bugs down.’ Or ‘Let’s move over here into the sun, because it seems like the mosquitos are enjoying this shady area!’ Or, like the fellow in the picture here, find some giant leaves to become mosquito swatters!

For my son, I have found that learning about their place (yes, they do have one!) in the ecosystem helps him to be a bit more understanding. Did you know that mosquitos pollinate plants and drink nectar? And only the female mosquito bites? Some fish eat their larvae and they are food for dragonflies and bats. So when my son groans, ’I wish mosquitos just weren’t on the earth,’ I can sympathize that they are annoying, and then talk about the food chain and why on earth they do exist. Look out for those helpful dragonflies, coming to a backyard near you!

Creston Kids Outside is holding an AGM Thursday, June 28 at the Creston Library. AGM at 7:00 followed at 7:30 by a presentation and information session about the Kootenay Nature School Program.

Just Posted

LKB members fight heli-skiing proposal

Robert Louie Sr., have joined with band members who are opposed to a Retallack/Lower Kootenay Band Agreement.

Second fire hall referendum confirmed

Creston residents will have another chance to vote on the borrowing for a new fire hall.

Michelle Mungall on maternity leave

The Nelson-Creston MLA will return by the end of September

Valley Mudders invites new members

While the stereotypical image of a potter is someone sitting at a wheel spinning pots, a look at the displays of various members’ work shows that most of the output is hand-built.

Design phase of Creston Community Park well underway

The contract for detailed design services for the new skatepark has been awarded to van der Zalm + Associates Inc. and New Line Skateparks Inc., both firms in Langley, BC.

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

Most Read