The Great Outdoors: How to Encourage Your Kids to Get Out There
Years ago, it would have seemed unthinkable that you would have to encourage your kids to get outdoors. In fact, parents have the opposite problem and getting them to come inside proved to be an impossible task! Nowadays, with the increasing entertainment options provided online, tearing your kids away from the TV or their iPads can be a very challenging prospect. But with the summer months now upon us, getting your kids to play outdoors is something that you should be trying any way you can. There are plenty of ways of doing this if you are willing to put in the time and effort and here are just a few of them.
Turn Your Garden into a Fun Zone
First of all, you should use what space is available in your own backyard. There are all kinds of toys and equipment you can buy depending on your budget and how much space you have available. If you prefer, you can even take the DIY approach wand build your own equipment if you have the skill! All kids love water fights, so you could buy them some water pistols or a sprinkler is another great choice for them to enjoy. Essentially, having a varied and exciting outdoor space is one of the best ways of getting your kids enthusiastic about going outdoors.
Take Part in Gardening Projects Together
There are plenty of simple gardening projects that you can try out as a family. If you are planting flowers or vegetables, start off by choosing some that grow quickly so your kids can see the results. Even garden chores can be fun if you do them as a family so check out the Impatient Farmer website for some helpful advice. Remember that young kids love tools but also remember to closely supervise them while they are using them! Gardening is a great way of teaching kids lessons about hard work, commitment and patience paying off in the long-run.
Feed Their Natural Curiosity
Kids are curious about all manner of things, particularly if they are encountering them for the first time. When you are out in the garden or a walk outdoors, try to answer as many questions as you can about the plants or animals they point out. You could even build a bird bath or big box in your backyard to encourage all kinds of creatures to come to you. The more curious they get, the more likely it is that they will want to spend more time outdoors.
Take Part in Various Outdoor Activities
There are all kinds of outdoor activities that you could try out as a family. First of all, you could introduce them to a variety of sports like soccer, baseball and tennis. The more different activities you try, the more likely it is that they will find one that they really love. If you have any natural resources in the area like a river, you could try out different activities like fishing, kayaking or canoeing. Alternatively, if there is a swimming pool in the vicinity, a family day out swimming is another great choice.
Plan a Family Camping Trip
If you really want to get out into nature, there is no better way of doing this than on a family camping trip. With so many locations to choose from, you can really choose whatever kind of adventures suits you. You may want to pick a location that has lots of other families staying there or you may decide to choose a secluded spot away from distractions. Make sure you plan out some activities to keep the kids entertained and that you are well-versed in camping techniques. There would be nothing worse than getting there only to find that you have no idea how to put up the tent! It is better to be prepared and practice in your back garden.
There are plenty of ways that you can get creative and make any time spent outdoors even more fun for your kids. For example, you could design your own scavenger hunt with objects for them to find along the way. Another option is a treasure hunt where you draw out a map with various treats and surprises for them along the way. Though we have talked about sports and games that involve various types of equipment, there are still plenty of games you can enjoy with no equipment as all. If some of the games you used to enjoy as a child have disappeared into the far reaches of your mind, it is worth digging them out again so you can pass them down to your kids!
Lead By Example
If you are trying to encourage your kids to get outdoors while lying sprawled out on the sofa, you are unlikely to be able to get the results you are hoping for! Instead, it is important that you lead by example. If you are regularly spending time outdoors, your kids are much more likely to follow suit. The warmer summer are the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, so make sure to make the most of them while they last. Getting outside more often isn’t just something that will benefit your kids, it is also something that will have a positive effect on your own life as well.
Don’t Let the Weather Stop You
Obviously, it is much more appealing to get outdoors when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, but we all know that the weather isn’t always going to be this kind to you. Getting outside in all kinds of weather can actually create fun and memorable experiences for your kids, whether this is splashing around in the puddles or feeling the wind blowing against their face. All you need is the right kind of suitable clothing and you should be good to go.
These are just a few ideas for how you can get your kids out and enjoying everything the great outdoors has to offer.