Views: 295 Author: Bettaplay -Silvia Publish Time: 2018-01-22 Origin: Site
How to Get Your Kids to Play Outdoors
Children use more technology in their daily lives than ever before. They also spend less time outdoors than ever before. Unfortunately, these things can be unhealthy for your child. Getting your kids to play outdoors will not only help them stay physically healthy, it's also been shown to increase their attention, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Outdoor play even helps kids do better in school! Encouraging outdoor play takes a little effort, but the rewards are worth it!
Providing Fun Outdoor Options
1, Host a backyard campout. If you live in a rural or suburban area with a yard, host a weekend campout! Invite neighbor children over, pitch a tent, and provide some fun games and activities such as sing-alongs, stargazing, and story time.
The National Wildlife Federation sponsors an annual "Great American Backyard Campout" that includes public campout events. If you live in an urban area or don't have a backyard, joining one of these events could be a good option.
2, Plant a garden. Get your children involved in planting and maintaining the plants as they grow. There are many websites that offer suggestions for kid-friendly gardens. You can even build fun projects such as a "bean teepee" (bean vines grown up long poles tied together) that your kids can use as an outdoor play space.
If you don't have a lot of outdoor space, you can still have a garden area! Try making a fairy garden, or planting a planter box with herbs such as rosemary and thyme that are easy to grow (and you can use them in meals!). If you have a little more space, you can grow a container garden.
3, Build a fort. You can make a bean fort or bean teepee, or you can give your kids the raw materials to make their own forts. All you need are some old sheets, some long branches, and maybe some cardboard. Let your kids use their imagination to build a fun play space!
4, Institute a "nature scavenger hunt." There are many places online to find scavenger hunt lists, or you can make your own. Having a challenge will keep your kids occupied and give them a sense of accomplishment when they've finished the quest. This will work for kids who live in the city as well as those in rural or suburban areas!
5, Get crafty. If your children like collecting stuff, send them outside with a bucket or basket to find items for fun craft projects. Seeds, pine cones, rocks, flowers, and leaves can all be made into fun crafts and gifts.
6, Create a waterpark. In the summer time, turn on the garden hose, add some buckets and squirt toys, and let your kids go wild! Squirting some soapy water on a tarp will give your kids a homemade slip 'n slide for hours of fun.
7, Buy a cheap camera. Give your child an inexpensive camera (either film or digital) and encourage them to explore the outdoors and take pictures of what they see. This will help them get more involved with and curious about their environment, and there are many kid-friendly cameras available for under $100.
8, Provide toys that have to be used outdoors. Toys like jump ropes, soccer and basketballs, and sidewalk chalk simply don't work indoors. They may tempt even reluctant children into heading outside.
9, Convert chores to fun. Chores such as raking leaves and shoveling snow may not immediately appeal to kids, but teaching them to see the chore as producing a reward -- like a big pile of leaves to jump in or the makings of a great snowman -- will encourage them to be active and responsible.
Getting Older Kids Outdoors
1, Give them some freedom. For example, if you live in an appropriate area, allow your older children or teens to build a campfire (with supervision). Teach them safety rules and then let them take charge. Older kids need to feel responsible and independent.
Check with your local city council to determine any regulations.
2, Encourage responsible tech use. Older kids and teens can use the GPS on their cellphones for outdoor activities such as geocaching, which may appeal to their budding need for independence.
Your child or teen could also keep a blog about his or her outdoor activities. Teens love selfies, so encourage them to take photos of themselves doing cool activities outside, or document their favorite outdoor adventures. Make sure to talk to your kids about responsible social media use.
3, Get social. Older children and teens are particularly fond of "hanging out." Offer to drive your kids and their friends to a park, or encourage your child to go jogging with a friend instead of sitting on the couch.
4, Provide outdoor equipment. Both teenage boys and girls enjoy activities like basketball and bicycling. Basketball hoops are relatively inexpensive and can be set up almost anywhere. Having the equipment will encourage your teens to head outdoors.