8 Ways to Encourage Kids to Get Outside
With school almost out and summer just around the corner, the kids will soon be home and itching for things to do. Getting kids outside is great for both their bodies and their minds. But how can you get them to play outside without “forcing” them? The key is to encourage them and make being outside fun! Here are a few ways to do just that:
Set up a playdate
Call your kids’ friends’ parents to arrange a time to meet up. With someone new to play with, it will make the outdoors that much more exciting! You can meet at a park, a playground, or a soccer field. Or, stay at home and have them play in the backyard.
Write out a list or find one online of items in the backyard for your kids to find. For example, you could ask them to find or spot a maple leaf, or a red rock, or a bird. It will put their mind to work and help them be more in tune with their surroundings in nature.
Go for a walk or hike
Getting the whole family moving on a walk will be beneficial for everyone, and good family bonding time! Take a lap around the neighborhood, or if you want some new scenery, walk by the river or go for a hike at the state park.
Other living things are fascinating, and the size of insects makes them easy to study up close. Give your kids a jar, and a net if you have one, and encourage them to catch different types of bugs. How many different kinds can you find?
Gardening with the family
In previous blog posts, we have talked about the many benefits of gardening with your kids. But beyond those reasons, having your kids help gives them productive time outside learning about plants and nature!
Have a picnic
Pack some sandwiches, drinks, and a blanket and have a picnic outside! It could be just in your backyard, or you could go to the park. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but it will mix up meal time and show that every day things can be done outside too.
Having fun toys that your kids can only play with when they’re outside can add to the fun of being outdoors. Whether it’s soccer balls, hula hoops, bubble wands, or sidewalk chalk, It can even be as simple as an old sheet and some sticks or chairs to make a fort!
Backyard Camp Out
If you want to go an extra mile, and your family has a tent and some sleeping bags, pitch it in the backyard and stay outside overnight with your kids! Bring flashlights and make shadow hands, or bring a laptop to watch a movie.