How to Get Your Kids To Play Outside
As the internet has expanded, our outdoor time has shrunk. Let’s revive the healthy habit of playing outside as kids. Let your little ones jump, skate, run, and tumble a little bit every day. They need it to have a strong body, and it’s good for their imagination and practical skills. Don’t be afraid to let them get a bruise here or there. Teach them how to fall down and get back up. Playing is a crucial part of growing up.
- Designate Outdoor Hours: We are in front of screens all day long. Limit the number of hours your kids are sitting down looking at a screen, and designate 1-2 hours a day to be spent outside doing some activity. You can plan it, or they can go off on their own adventure. Have it be a set time every day, so that there is a routine to the day, and the kids know when to expect it. As it gets hotter during the summer months, have the outdoor time be in the early morning or late evening. If you want to go out in the midday, then play in the water with pools, fountains, and natural water sources. Always practice water safety and never leave a child unattended.
- Make Friends In The Community: You live in a community that can be a great place to make friends. Connect with other parents in the area who have kids around the same age. You can plan play dates for younger kids, or encourage the older ones to invite friends over to play outside. Parents can take turns watching the kids as they play outside. This way, the kids get out, and the adults can talk or get some extra work done.
- Have Outside Toys: Kids won’t want to play outside if it seems boring to them. Get them excited about going outside with simple outdoor toys like sidewalk chalk, jump rope, hula hoops, or skateboards. Avoid buying costly toys that require a lot of supervision. Odds are, they’ll end up sitting in a garage. Kids don’t need much to let their imaginations run wild. Give them a few things, and they’ll be off having a blast.
- Let Them Get Messy: Don’t be afraid of them falling down or getting muddy; that’s part of being a kid! This is their time to make as big of a mess as they want. Let them get completely filthy by making mud pies, jumping in the dirt, and rolling around in the grass. Have a few wipes nearby to get most of the grime off before they head back inside. Take off the play clothes and rinse off in a quick bath to get the rest of the dirt off. It’ll be fun for them, and they’ll get tons of energy out. Getting messy helps them learn from trial and error.
- Play With Them: Show them some of your favorite games by playing with your kids. You can teach them the rules to basketball or soccer. Throw the ball for a game of catch, or show them how to ride a bike. These little moments are the ones that you’ll treasure forever, and they’ll remember how much time you spent with them. It’ll be a great bonding time for both of you, and you’ll both get some exercise.
Give your kids a safe place to explore the world around them. Go to a park, take them to the beach, or find a grassy patch near your apartment. Give them a few hours to run around and be wild. Let them be loud and messy. Show them how to build a fort, and give their imaginations freedom. They’ll be healthier and stronger by playing outside a little every day.