From a child’s perspective, there’s good reason to stay inside. After all, that’s where the tablets, televisions, cartoons and computer games are. But as a parent, you know better. You know that being glued to the couch isn’t doing your kids any favors, and that time outside is key to their mental and physical well-being. When the little ones are outdoors, they become more active. Their immune systems are stronger, and their motor skills are more developed. They also learn valuable teamwork and communication skills by playing with other kids. Moreover, they’re compelled to think and use their creativity instead of just consuming content on a screen. This all comes together to make your children happier and healthier individuals, which is great. But how can you get them to drop the iPads and go outside? Here are five ways to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors.
A Play Space
The first step is to make the backyard a place you kids want to be in. From swings to zip lines, treehouses, sandpits and more, there are countless options that aren’t necessarily expensive. Try to incorporate elements that promote being active, such as a climbing wall or mini-golf course. Ask your kids what they’d like to see in the space. Perhaps they’d prefer to be able to play their favorite sport. For example, you can pick up some outfield fences for baseball; they’re both temporary and portable making it easy to adjust them as needed. Remember to provide sufficient shade so that their skin is protected from the sun.
Another solution is to get your kids interested in bird watching or observing the local wildlife. This is particularly useful if they enjoy their electronics, as they can use a tablet to take pictures or look up information on different species. If your kids enjoy the idea, you can take it to the next level by building a birdhouse or creating an observation space. Of course, this doesn’t have to be confined to your backyard. The local park or a nearby nature reserve can provide endless hours of outdoor fun.
Start a Garden
Gardening is an incredibly rewarding activity for children and adults alike. Not only does it get your little ones outside, but it can also teach them valuable lessons about sustainability and caring for living things. Flowers, herbs, vegetables and fairy gardens are all great options. You can pick there Interest by growing something easy first and a great way to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors.
Parties and Play dates
Take the slumber parties and movie nights outside by hosting social activities in the backyard instead. According to a survey by The Nature Conservancy, kids are 91% more likely to spend more time outdoors if encouraged by a friend. This is a great way to help your little ones learn the valuable social skills that too many children today are deprived of.
There are many ways to spend more time as a family outside. For example, you can substitute a weekend lunch for a picnic under the sun. Walking the dogs, cycling around the neighborhood, going on a camping trip, and building a backyard fort are just some of your options. You can also bury treats around the backyard and host a treasure hunt. Hit three birds with one stone by having reading time outside as a family. This will encourage both reading books and spending time outdoors as well as being together. As a bonus tip, consider giving your kids chores to do outside in exchange for a reward such allowance. However you do it, you’ll be making a major difference in their lives for the better. I hope these ideas encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors