One of the saddest things for me as a parent is thinking back to my childhood and how much time we spent outdoors – unrestricted, care-free and safe. Spending the whole day in front of the TV or playing computer games just wouldn’t even be an option (and, before you say anything, that’s not just because computer games weren’t around then, thanks!).
What’s even more upsetting is that a recent study found that 4/10 kids would rather do the latter than go outdoors.
However, we all know the benefits of an active lifestyle, from maintaining a healthy weight to having a more positive mindset.
So just how do you encourage the kids to spend more time in the great outdoors, without making it seem like you’re lecturing them?
Here are a few of my ideas:
Make Nature Engaging and Fun
If you get more excited about nature, your kids are far more likely to get enthusiastic about it too. So try and show some enthusiasm for outdoor-inspired projects like hiking, building dens, gardening and bird-watching. You’ll probably notice they want to help you or start having a go at the same things themselves.
Introduce Cool New Toys
Whether it’s their birthday coming up or you want to treat them for recent academic achievements, try not to succumb to buying the same-old presents (computer games, for example). Instead, why not look at the hottest new toys for outdoor use? From a hoverboard that’ll have them feeling like a superhero to a Wendy house they can play grown-ups in, the possibilities are endless.
Go to the Park for Play Dates
You and the kids might meet up with your friends at the local café, but, when the weather permits, why not have a play date at the park instead? The two of you can still catch up while encouraging the kids to let off some steam in the park.
When they’re given the freedom to enjoy these open spaces, you might just be surprised how they start entertaining themselves (building dens is a must-do).
Buy a Sandpit
Little ones absolutely love sandpits, and the older kids might want to get involved as well. You could even get creative and make yourself one from an old paddling pool. Fill it with sand, find some old spoons, pots and a bucket and spade, and you’ll soon have created the ideal play area for the kids.
Enjoy Time as a Family
Telling the kids they have to go outside and play while you and Dad sit inside won’t seem fair. So why not enjoy some family time outdoors? This shows the kids that there’s plenty of fun to be had outside – and you might just find they don’t want to come in when you do!
From washing the car to having a family game of football, you just need to get creative with your outdoor activities and the kids will soon lose interest in sitting in front of the TV all day.
This is a collaborative post however it is all my own work