When children and their well-being are concerned, spending time outside is very beneficial. After all, not only does outdoor play improves the child’s fitness level and sight, but spending more time outside also means lower stress, better social skills and reduced physical and mental health issues for kids.
However, in the digital age that we live in, getting the kids to actually leave their gadgets and play outdoors can be a bit challenging. The following tips may help you encourage your children to enjoy the open air more.
1. Get Their Favorite Toys Outside
In order to get your kids to spend more time playing outdoors, try to take their favorite toys outside, too. That should do the trick for a start. Of course, if your kids are more of an indoor type, make sure that you place the toys and other attractive items somewhere comfortable, such as the patio area.
Your goal may be to get the kids outside, but you have to do it gradually as you don’t want them to get scared away instantly. There should be an adequate shade provided as well as comfy pillows and/or blankets to sit on.
2. Family Time – Outdoors
Another great way to wake up the love of nature in your kids is to take them on family time excursions outdoors. While your kids are still small, you can take them to the Zoo, amusement park, open-air museum, etc. And, when they get a bit older, your family time can turn into nature exploration.
For instance, hiking in the woods or the mountains, having a picnic by the river or even just cycling together around the park can become your family “thing”. Kids really tend to enjoy these activities when they’re young so don’t miss your opportunity to make the most out of that.
3. Transform Your Yard Into A Kid’s Party Venue
You can join forces with other parents who also want to encourage their kids to spend more time outdoors and organize play dates at your place. Essentially, the more you spruce up your yard and equip it with toys and other elements the kids generally tend to enjoy, the more attractive setting you’ll create for both your and neighbor kids.
For instance, you can install swings and set up playground trampolines that all kids would absolutely love! Moreover, you can paint your fence something bright and add pops of color wherever you can. Not only will this get your children to spend more time outside, but it will also boost their social skills effectively.
4. Introduce A New Hobby – Gardening
Even though they may not be overly interested at first, gardening will definitely grow on your kids as a potential hobby and a fun pastime. Therefore, don’t hesitate to introduce the beauty of gardening and the complexity of plant life to your kids.
Doing this right before spring would definitely be the best thanks to the vast range of plants that the kids would witness growing and blooming soon enough. After all, when kids are concerned, it’s important to show them some kind of a result relatively quickly in order to get them interested in taking up gardening as a hobby. And as they develop a fondness for flora, they’ll certainly enjoy spending time outside more.
5. Involve Your Kids In Outdoor Chores
Chores may not sound like the best way to encourage the child’s love of nature and the outdoors, but doing them can still have a considerable positive effect. Make sure that kids get their gratification and reward upon completing their chores.
In that sense, they won’t find it bothersome to do anything you ask from them or associate the bothersome feeling with the outdoors. For example, you can get them to walk the dog or help you with washing the car. Moreover, there’s weeding, lawn mowing, watering the garden and grass, cleaning up the fallen leaves and debris, etc.
If you want to get your kids to love the outdoors and spend more of their time outside, it’s essential that you never force them or nag them to do so. This will only produce the opposite effect. Children need to embrace this with their own will, only thanks to your helpful nudge and initiative.