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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the Peanuts gallery

PCSS presents What’s It All About, Charlie Brown?

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

The Musical Life of Marlene Nash

Pictured above: Marlene Nash re-enacts one of her winning numbers from the… Continue reading

Town of Creston gets grant to ‘undevelop’ reservoir site

By Lorne Eckersley A last minute grant application earlier in the winter… Continue reading

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read