kids in the countryside
Useful tips to help get your kids to enjoy life outdoors
kids in the garden
On behalf of, and with our thanks to Neil Stawski
Five ways to get your kids outside
In the age of technology, it can seem hard to get our kids outside. And yet, it’s so healthy for our children to be outside and explore the outdoors safely. If you’re stumped on how to get your child off the console and into fresh air, here are some things you can consider.
Take a Trip
The fastest way to get a child excited is to tell them you have a trip planned. You might be surprised just how enthusiastic a child will become at hearing you have got a picnic prearranged for this weekend, or that there is a new park you are taking them to explore. Going new places, or even revisiting old favorites, is an easy way to encourage your child to be outdoors and active. They will revel in being able to play in the sun and also spend time with their parents.
It’s good to involve the whole family in games outside, so children don’t feel it is a punishment or that they have been misbehaving. Get some toys that you can all use to stay active either in the yard or at the park. Jump ropes, Frisbees, chalk for the sidewalk can all be used together to have fun. Going to the park to spread out and play a game of Frisbee or catch can be a fine way to get kids excited about being outside on the weekend or after school. This is especially fun for little children when their parents engage with them, so don’t hesitate to play jump rope with your child.
Try to frame physical exercise as something fun for the whole family. Plan a weekly bike ride that your whole family can participate in every Saturday or Sunday. Everyone will get some healthy exercise, and it is an enjoyable way to pass an hour as a family. Having a destination is a way to make the ride even more fun, so maybe take a few sandwiches, bike to the park, and have a light picnic. Biking, rather than driving, allows you all to take your time, enjoy the weather, and perhaps see things you might have otherwise missed in the car. It is also an opportunity to teach children how to be responsible. Having them take the time to lock up their bicycle before going into the store after biking there can teach them to look after their possessions.
Let Your Children Decide
What are kids best at, aside from being lovable? They can entertain themselves with surprisingly few accessories. Rather than trying to control every aspect of an excursion, let your children have a hand in picking what they want to do. This will help them feel like they have a say in family life, but also let them actually enjoy themselves. Maybe they want to go for a bike ride, or they just want to go for a walk with you around the neighborhood. They might invent a game much more entertaining than simply jumping rope together, no matter how fun that can be. Just ensure they know you need to be involved, so you can make sure they stay safe.
Enjoy the Yard / Garden
Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to have exciting fun in our own backyards. Whether you want to build a fort with your kids, or watch them rake and play in piles of leaves, there are endless possibilities. Additionally, playsets and swing sets are a fantastic way to motivate your little one to go outside of their own volition. Children love climbing and exploring, and this can be a wonderful way for them to be physically active while getting fresh air. If you have a pool, make sure to discuss pool and water safety with your kids. Check out this pool-safety checklist for some ideas on how childproof your pool.
This time is shorter than you think. It’s important to instill good habits in our children while they are young, and teach them to love the outdoors. It’s healthy, but it also gives them something to remember fondly when they themselves are adults with children of their own.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com