How to Get Your Children Outside More
If you talk to your parents about what they did as a child, you might find that most of their activities took place with friends outside. However, if you talk to your children, you might see the opposite. We live in a highly urban and technology friendly world lacking the green space that our parents and grandparents might have had. So then, how do we encourage our children to get outside more often?
Tell them it's okay
Some children have a fear of getting messy. We need to remind them that getting dirty and messy is okay and that it all washes off in the end. Encourage them to jump around in the mud and explore with their hands.
Create a scavenger hunt
Create a list of things that they need to find from nature and bring to you. Hide their items throughout nature. If you want to take it up a notch, try geocaching!
Create an Inviting Outdoor Space
If you don't have a playground nearby, there are still many things you can do to encourage outdoor activities. Get your kid some chalk, a ball, a jump rope, and some buckets. Set up a space or an area of the yard where all of these things can stay. Encourage them to go outside and use them as well as nature found items like sticks and rocks. Sometimes all it takes is just a few things to get them started.
Plant a Garden with Your Child
One great way to get kids out and started in nature is to plant a garden with them. Use vegetables they like so that they can look forward to picking and helping cook their food in the future. Another option is to let them help you plant flowers. Teach them as you go so that you are giving them some fun time in the dirt as well as an educational experience.
Walk to School
If you live close enough, try walking with them to school in the morning. Point out all the beautiful parts of nature including the colors, plants, and animals. If you don't live very close to their school, then try parking nearby and walking the last bit. Getting them outside in the morning can make a great start to the day.
Encourage Nature-Based Vacations
Next time you take a vacation go on a nature-based vacation. Try camping in the woods or hiking along a trail for two ideas. Another option is to go to the beach or the desert. These can be great ways to let them explore new environments. Take excursions to go canoeing or rafting or let them go to a nature preserve where they can see animals and learn about their natural habitats.
Move Regular Activities Outside
On an average day, you eat at your dining room table and spend your afternoons with your child in the living room. Think about moving some of these to nature. Start by having a picnic with your kid or eating on the back porch for dinner. Spend time taking a stroll in the afternoon rather than watching TV. Mindfully moving everyday activities outside is a great way to not only get your child out but yourself as well.
Overall, there are many ways to get your child outside more often. Getting your child out can result in better creativity and problem-solving skills. You might have to start by going with them, but eventually, they'll go outside with their desire to find and learn new things. Don't forget to take time with the whole family out regularly. This bonding time is a great way to lead by example and create memories with your children. Are there any other ways that you get your child outside?