With the appeal of TV, computers, and cell phones, it has become nearly impossible to encourage kids to play outdoors. They will make up any excuse to stay home and bury themselves in their electronics instead. If you’re worried that your child spends too much time indoors, watching TV or playing on their computer, and not enough time outside living their lives, then this article is for you.
But you don’t have to worry because with just a few clever tricks and some exciting games, inspiring your kids to go outside and play can be easy.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- The Benefits of Playing Outside
- #1. Unplug Electronic Devices
- #2. Organize Play Time
- #3. Give them a Safe Place to Play
- #4. Use the Resources Available in your Neighborhood
- #5. Family Activities
- #6. Challenge your Kids
- #7. Outdoor Chores
- #8. Treasure Hunts
- #9. Bug Catcher Kit
- #10. Have a Bonfire
- #11. Build a Mini Zoo in the Backyard
- #12. Bikes, Tricycles, and Scooters
- #13. Water Toys
- #14. Get them to Join Classes
- #15. Scout Program
The Benefits of Playing Outside
There are huge benefits to kids playing outdoors. Being outside in nature, breathing fresh air and soaking up some rays of Vitamin D is essential for your child’s overall health. Plus, most outdoor games involve plenty of activity. That means they will be breaking a sweat and getting their muscles moving.
So your child’s little body will get the workout it needs by playing outdoors.
Here’s how to do it.
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#1. Unplug Electronic Devices
It may seem counteractive, but it does work! Unplugging all the electronic devices in your home is a great way to encourage kids to go outside and play. After all, when your home is inundated with electronic devices, your kids will always be tempted to play with them. So by unplugging them and storing them out of sight, your kids will start to notice their old abandoned toys.
In order to keep a balance, allow your kids to play with electronic devices twice a week. And if you’re big on discipline, you can use these two days as leverage if they don’t behave.
#2. Organize Play Time
Your kids have school, homework, and all sorts of classes on a weekly basis. While outdoor playing is important, it shouldn’t get in the way of their education. Some kids are so busy with extracurricular activities that they don’t have the energy to play outdoors. If this is the case with your child, organize outdoor play time for them on weekends or on the days they don’t have so much on their plates.
On the other hand, some kids would prefer to play outside than do their homework. Getting them to play outside is a piece of cake, while getting them to do their homework is another. If this is the case, then you need to manage the time your child plays outdoors so that they don’t fall behind in their studies.
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#3. Give them a Safe Place to Play
Playgrounds are pretty safe since parents are around to keep an eye on their kids while they play. Your backyard is also a safe space for your little ones to play. When you’re playing with your children, you can ’make sure they don’t get hurt. If they have their friends over, you can keep an eye on them playing from a window.
However, please make sure that there are no sharp objects lying around in the playground or the backyard. Scan the area first before you let your child run wild. Also, be ready with a small first aid kit, just in case they do hurt themselves.
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#4. Use the Resources Available in your Neighborhood
Many neighborhoods are blessed with playgrounds, theme parks or a zoo. For those who have to travel a bit further to find an activity, that’s okay too. As long as you have fun, distance means nothing. Some people who live on the outskirts of town can enjoy fishing, canoeing or kayaking. It’s a great way to bond and get some exercise at the same time.
Your backyard is always a great place to play all sorts of games like soccer, potato sack racing, spike ball, horseshoes or limbo.
#5. Family Activities
Whenever you plan anything for your kids to do, make sure it’s an outdoor activity. Plan weekends camping in the bushes, on a farm or anywhere that involves a lot of physical activity. Lazy kids are difficult to handle, but they’re easier than naughty ones. They may not be excited about going out in the beginning, but they will enjoy it once they get the hang of it.
Don’t let your kids use their phones, iPads or the Game Boy when you’re on a family outing. Find different ways to connect with each other. Take some props such as a beach ball, dodgeball, water toys etc to enjoy an outing in the park or at the beach.
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#6. Challenge your Kids
The best way to keep your children engaged and eager to play outdoorsy games is to challenge them. Don’t go overboard though, since they are still kids. But try and challenge your kids to a game of tennis, basketball, dodgeball or tag – whatever goes.
When your kids are challenged, they will work harder to improve their skills and strive to win. A little healthy competition increases their ability to conquer obstacles.
#7. Outdoor Chores
Give your children some hands-on experience on household chores outdoors. For example, get them to hang up the washing, weed the garden, plant new trees, trim the garden, paint the fences, take care of pets, or just water the plants. Doing chores outside will ensure your kids get some sunlight and fresh air. Spending time in nature is really good for their health.
Now we’ll get to the best part. We are going to talk about the cool games that will get even the laziest and the stubbornest kids to join you outdoors.
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#8. Treasure Hunts
Hide things in different parts of the house and the backyard, then play a game of treasure hunting with your little ones. Leave them clues to solve that will engage their analytical abilities. The excitement of finding a treasure will entice them off the couch.
A point to be noted is that you have to make the treasures worth the hunt. You could hide new toys or sweets and chocolates. Get your pets to join your kids on the hunt as well.
#9. Bug Catcher Kit
Get your kids a bug catcher kit. Kids love bugs and animals. Looking for bugs in the backyard or the park is a great way to develop their sense of adventure. Plus, its educational too as they’ll learn about their world. If you have a dog, let it guide them while your kids are looking for bugs to catch.
Even if they catch a mosquito, a ladybug or an ant, they will still have lots of fun.
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#10. Have a Bonfire
Everybody loves a bonfire. Get your kids to collect all the leaves in the backyard and gather them in the center of the firepit. Set fire to the pile of leaves, play some music in the background and dance around it. You can even cook marshmallows and dinner over the coals.
Once the fire has been extinguished, let your kids clean up the mess. This will teach them to recycle and clean up after tasks.
#11. Build a Mini Zoo in the Backyard
Animals such as bunnies and birds can be kept in the backyard in their respective cages. Having them in the backyard will motivate your kids to care for them and check on them from time to time. In doing so, they will be spending most of their waking hours with the pets in the backyard.
They can play with the bunnies, or run around with their dog on the lawn. Animals need to be attended to as often as possible, so your kids will be learning to care for animals at an early age.
#12. Bikes, Tricycles, and Scooters
Bikes are a great motivation for kids to go outside. And it’s great exercise too! Encourage your kids to socialize with the other kids in the neighborhood. Let them ride bikes, skateboards or scooters together. They’ll get to make new friends and they’ll have plenty of fun while they’re at it.
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#13. Water Toys
It’s a hot summer’s day so what do you do? Spend the whole day in the kiddie pool or have a fun afternoon with an inflatable water slide. Play fights with water pistols are good fun too, or you can challenge your kids to a game of beach ball in the pool. water guns or beach ball in the pool.
There are so many exciting options to choose from to inspire children to go outdoors.
#14. Get them to Join Classes
School is a great place to find classes for your kids join, based on what they are good at. If your child is interested in soccer or basketball, enroll them in these after-school sports. If your child is into swimming or running, find classes at the school or around the neighborhood. It’s a great way to get them to live out their passion.
Plus, they’ll also meet other kids their age and learn about teamwork. New skills, new friends and plenty of fun – it’s a win-win!
#15. Scout Program
Joining the Scout program has huge benefits for your child. They’re not only going out and getting physical training, but they’re also picking up some valuable life skills. In the Scout program, kids will learn about good morals, values, and manners. They will learn archery and tent-building skills.
They will also learn how to survive in the wild with minimum supplies. Energetic, sporty kids won’t miss out on this opportunity for anything.
Raising children requires creativity and analytical skills. They will challenge you in every way possible. To make them do the things you’d like them to, you’ll often have to come up with clever strategies. In a nutshell, you have to be strict about controlling when your children use electronic devices. Plan your holidays in outdoorsy locations so that all members of the family can have fun.
Connect with your kids through play and get to know their creative side. This is how you can inspire your kids to get up off the couch and go outside to play.