If you’re a parent, you’ve probably had numerous conversations with other moms and dads about the pros and cons of technology. Smartphones and iPads are great for keeping tabs on the kids, helping with their homework’s, and yes entertaining them when mommy and daddy are too frazzled to do any more taxing than sitting on the couch with a good book, but there are downsides too.
Children seem to spend less and less time outdoors actually engaging with their peers, using their imagination and playing the kinds of old fashioned games that kept our generation fit. The problem is because they have so much to do indoors, many kids don’t even want to venture outside. If you want to change that, check out these great tips for encouraging your kids to go outdoors:
Bling Up Your Backyard
If your backyard is boring, why would your kids want to go out there? If you don’t have time to do it yourself, hire a handyman and have him install a swing set, jungle gym and perhaps even build a sturdy playhouse and you’ll have your kids, and the neighbor’s, flocking to your backyard whenever the weather is good.
Go to the Park
You’re kids aren’t going to spend time outside if you don’t, so set a good example and schedule regular trips to the park with your children. Have family fun playing chase and hide and seek and take a picnic for lunch if you really want to get them excited for their outdoor playdates.
In the US, we are blessed with so many beautiful National Parks that it is a shame more children don’t get to enjoy them. If your kids don’t like the idea of roughing it for a weekend, get them engaged by teaching them a fee basic boy scout survival skills and telling them a few campfire stories to get them in the mood for the trip.
Limit Screen Time
You might not be popular for a while, but limiting the amount of time your kids can spend with their favorite devices (you might want to exempt e-readers) will force them to make their own fun and quite often that will involve going outdoors.
Feed the Birds
Birds are beautiful little creatures, and if you encourage more of them to come to your garden with bird feeders and boxes, your kids will fall in love with their antics and spend more time watching them and having real adventures than they do watching Adventure Time.
Give Them Chores
If your kid is old enough to do a few chores, you can incentivise them to get some fresh air by offering to pay them for every garden chore they complete. Not only will they get plenty of fresh air, but they’ll come closer to nature, and they’ll learn the value of hard work from an early age.
Have a Treasure Hunt
Creating outdoor activities which challenge your children and ensure they are able to have a lot of fun with their friends will make them want to go outside. Treasure hunts are a good choice because it allows kids to be competitive and there’s always a prize at the end, but feel free to come up with your own outdoor games to get them engaged with the outside world.