As a parent, it can be difficult to motivate your kids to spend more time outside. With all the stress and pressure we’ve all faced over the last couple of years, it’s important to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and become physically active. Luckily, there are some great ways that you can encourage your kids to spend more time outside!
In this blog post I’ll share six tips on how to get your kids out of the house and into the great outdoors.
Get off the devices
These days many of us spend a lot of time looking at screens. We are glued to our phones, tablets, laptops and smart TV’s. Not only does this mean we miss out on important interactions with friends and family, but studies show that it could also be making us more stressed.
It’s estimated that kids spend an average of seven hours a day looking at screens. That’s much more time than they spend doing other activities! By getting them off the devices you’ll encourage them to get outside and find new ways to have fun!
Get outside yourself!
If you’re always indoors, then your kids will be too. Try to spend more time outdoors with them. It could be a great quality bonding experience for the family. Consider fun family activities such as going to the beach, camping or taking a trip on your bikes.
If you’re outside with your kids then it will encourage them to play more and also get out of their comfort zone! Keep an eye out for nature-friendly activities in your area. Some areas have fun Meetup groups so you can try some new activities as a family.
Make the most of your yard
We all tend to live busy lives these days and if we work long hours, we might find it difficult to take the kids places to enjoy the outdoors. This is where your own backyard can be so important. There are a number of fun activities your kids can do in their own yard.
If they have siblings, they may like to play sports such as soccer or baseball. They may also enjoy games like hide and seek, tag or taking turns to find objects hidden around the backyard.
For kids who don’t have siblings it can be a little trickier however there’s still plenty of ways to encourage the use of the backyard. The key is to make your backyard an inviting, comfortable environment that they will enjoy.
Play outdoor sports
It’s important for kids to be physically active so consider joining a sporting team or activity. Playing sports is a great way to get kids moving and also develop social skills. If it’s done outside, it’s even better since they’ll be getting fresh air at the same time.
Since your children are likely already comfortable playing video games, a team game may be the best way to introduce them to outdoor sports. If your kids don’t enjoy the competitive nature of some sports, they might like to try a more laid back activity like swimming lessons outside or to take up rock climbing which has many mental health benefits.
Take a walk in the park
Most kids will be happy to spend time outside if you make it fun for them otherwise, they’ll likely prefer to stay inside and play games or watch TV instead. Take your child out on nature walks where there are plenty of things to see and do such as exploring new places as part of an adventure. If you have a dog, take them for a walk because dogs are often very excited to explore new places and smell all the different smells.
It’s good for you too!
With the internet and small screens being readily available for kids these days, many parents are concerned about the sedentary nature of our lives. Keep an eye on what your kids are doing online and remove any games or apps that are unhelpful.
It is important that kids spend time outside, even if it’s just for a little fresh air. Being outside can be great for mental health so it’s time to spruce up your outside space. In fact, it could be just what we parents need from time to time. Why not curl up with a good book in an outdoor bean bag? After the couple of years you’ve had, you deserve it!