The weather outside warming up, and that means perfect opportunities for outdoor play and fun in the sun. However, in today’s digital age, kids are often just as content to sit indoors and play an educational game on a tablet as they are to go outside and play with friends. If this sounds familiar to you, the tips below will have your child excited about running outside to have some fun after school in no time.
Take Your Child(ren) Camping
Kids tend to mimic their parents, so if you aren’t spending much time outdoors yourself, this could by why your kids are so reluctant to go out in the backyard. One of the best ways to solve this conundrum is to plan a camping trip and take your kids with you. Try to keep things rustic if you can, and if going to an actual campground is just not possible, camp out in a tent in the backyard. Play some fun games, roast some S’mores, and take some time to look up at the stars once the sun goes down to talk about the constellations.
Go on a Family Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of things that you and your kids might come across on a walk through the backyard or the neighborhood, then challenge your kids to find them while you take that walk. You might opt to check the items off the list as the kids point them out to you, but you might also choose to take photos of the items with a digital camera. This turns a casual stroll into a game, and it’s one of the best ways to get kids moving.
Encourage Kids to Get Wet, Dirty, or Messy Outside
Kids often avoid getting dirty or messy in the house; in fact, they might even get in trouble if they make a big mess indoors. Fortunately, this isn’t the case outside, so come up with a way to encourage your kids to get as dirty as they possibly can. Maybe you can get them to help you plant flowers with their hands and knees in the soil, or maybe you can stock up on some silly string and other “messy” toys and just have a ball. Be mindful of the weather, though; spring days can be pretty chilly. Have towels and old blankets nearby for keeping warm and getting dried off, if necessary.
Take a Trip to a National Park
The United States is home to numerous amazing natural sights, especially in its national parks. If you have the opportunity to do so, consider taking a weekend getaway to the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Smoky Mountains, a cave system you can tour, or any other destination that you believe would interest your kids. Sign them up for some activities while you’re there and read up on how the mountains or the canyon formed so you can wow your kids.
Getting your kids outside is all about discovering what interests them. Taking a walk is a great idea, but it’s better to up the ante with a cool activity you can do along the way. You can travel across the country or you can camp out in your backyard, but the end result is the same – your kids will learn to love the outdoors just as much as you do.