It’s a struggle that most parents have in the modern era, especially considering how easily connected our children are amongst many, many devices. How can you encourage your children to spend more time outdoors?
You could pick them up yourself and drag them outside, but as they get older (and heavier), this isn’t viable. What are some practical ways to get your children under the age of 12 outdoors? Read on to learn five solutions.
To entice your children with the thought of being outside, you need to determine what they might be interested in. If your child plays sports during the school year, you could encourage them to practice more by playing the game outdoors, even if it’s a sport that is typically hosted in a gymnasium.
If your child is more artistic, give them some chalk or encourage them to draw outside. We drive a lot of our creative inspiration from things we find in nature, so teach them this lesson by having them do artwork, either on pavement or with whatever medium they choose to work with.
Sometimes our children are fussy, and neither you nor your child knows what they’re interested in. This is where you might have to do some creative thinking and experiment with activities. Encourage them to expand their imaginations and play outdoors, because surely they will find some fun.
More important bonding moments happen outdoors. Because of this, you will encourage your child to put down their devices and enjoy what nature has to offer both your children and you. Since you are the one who wants them to show interest in being outside, be a leader and engage with their activity. If your child wants to play a sport, play with them.
If you can’t figure out what to do outside with them, make a bucket list and knock off every activity together. Just make sure that these activities are exclusive to things you do outdoors. An enjoyable way to knocking off the items on your list is by going on an “adventure” day, which can be designated once or a few times a week. This gives your children a way to have an exciting time with the whole family.
If you have tried everything you can to get your child outside and they are not budging, you might need to invite some of their friends over. Just make sure they are spending their playtime outdoors. This is an excellent way for children to expand their imaginations and have outside, as they are more likely to make up a new activity if other children are around playing with them.
You can also get involved with the community to meet other families with similar interests. Look for events that are coming up and plan to go to at least once a month. Not only will you be getting your family involved with the community, but you might also make connections with other people to arrange further play dates with their children and yours. Having your children socialize more is very beneficial for their overall development.
Kids are already used to getting recess every day, so why not give it to them at home? Use the methods above to create habits for your kids, because sooner than you know it, they will be asking to go outside more often, which means you’ve succeeded in having them spend less time in front of a television or tablet.
Getting them in the habit of going outside will encourage them to spend more and more time outside, even if they are only going out for the portion of the day that you’ve planned.
It might seem too simple, but this method is beneficial. If you have a seating area in any part outside of your house, get your children outside by having them do more daily activities out there. This includes eating meals, doing homework, crafts, and games. And if your kiddos are active readers, introduce them to the world of reading outdoors.
While normal activities are not as engaging as physical activity, they are still spending time outside, which might encourage them to do more of. It can be a fight in itself, getting them to leave the house, so having them do these simple tasks is a big win.
It can be tough to introduce new routines and activities for your kids, especially when they are so used to spending their free time on their digital devices. Just like kids, it can be challenging to do this as an adult. So do not give up, and lead by example. You need to the motivation and inspiration for getting your children outside, so do not give up–because soon you will have more bonding moments with your children.