We hear it all the time “kids need less screen time, more outside time”. Intentions aside, in today’s world of social fears, urban living, and over-scheduled lives, it’s hard to get your kids outside.
It’s hard to get ourselves outside! We don’t need more lectures on why kids need outdoor time. Instead we need practical solutions on getting them out.
Many parents want their children to go outside more and play and explore the great outdoors. Unfortunately, children don’t always agree… especially as they get older and get more involved in living their own lives.
As the kids approach school-age you might struggle to keep them motivated while hiking or entertained outdoors. By kindergarten you’ve probably already employed an arsenal of strategies: over-exaggerated excitement, treats, coercion, bribes, and mandatory family time.
Below you’ll find 5 suggestions on how to get your kids outside when they’d rather stay indoors. These suggestions are suited for kids under twelve. Keep in mind that all children are different, so some of these tips will work with some, while others won’t. Keep trying. Getting your kids into the outdoors is important; you don’t want to give up on this.
5 Easy Tips To Get Your Kids Outside
Go outside with your children
Your kids will want to go outside more if you go play with them. Have fun, let them see you smile and enjoy yourself. Ask them what they’d like to do outside instead of telling them what they’ll be doing.
One strategy which works well for us is the ‘summer bucket list’. At the start of the summer holiday we brainstorm outdoor activity ideas and check them off once completed.
Invite friends to play games outside
If they don’t want to play with you, then perhaps they’ll get excited about playing with friends outside. Get involved with community outdoor playgroups.
Get to know the families with kids in your neighborhood and encourage outdoor meet-ups with the kids. The more parents that you know in your neighborhood, the more comfortable you’ll likely be in allowing your kids out to roam and play.
Create an interest in outdoor games and sports
Take some initiative and try out new things. Rent a canoe for a day. Try stand-up paddle boarding, heading down to the local football fields to kick a ball, or go on a guided bird-watching walk.
If you don’t have the time to get your kids trying new outdoor activities, then find someone who can. Perhaps a grandparent would love to regularly take the kids out fishing or to the farm. You could register your kids in Scouts, Girl Guides, outdoor clubs, and sports leagues.
Make outdoor play part of the daily routine
Do you have a regular daily routine? If so, where can you add more outdoor time to that schedule? If it seems like there is no room to add more outdoor play then you need to evaluate your priorities.
Perhaps you need to consider mandating outdoor time before they partake in specific indoor activities such as screen time.
Hide the remote!
When all strategies fail, sometimes you just need to hide the remote. If the temptation to veg in front of the TV isn’t available, then outdoor pursuits might seem more enticing… for the whole family.
Empowered Therapy and Training specialise in a number of workshops to help parents improve the mindset and healthy lifestyle of children in today’s modern age. If you have any questions about our list above, please don’t hesitate to contact Empowered Therapy and Training online and one of our friendly team members will be in contact with you.