Playing outside and exploring the outdoors is crucial for every child’s development, but sometimes it can be hard to get kids to go out and play — especially when it’s the middle of summer! Here are 10 ideas to get you and your kids outside having fun.
- Keep track of screen time
Too much time in front of screens, distracting though it is, is not good for kids in the long run. Make sure you know how much screen time your child gets per day and encourage time outdoors as an alternative.
- Make the outdoors exciting
Children copy their parents, so lead by example! Take a short bike ride around your neighborhood, toss around a football or Frisbee, or play with your dogs in the backyard. Your child may see you having fun outdoors and decide to join you.
- Grab a buddy
Chances are your child is not the only one spending too much time indoors. Have your child invite a friend over to play in the shade while you sit back and supervise.
- Go on an adventure
Do you live near a park or forest? Is there a lake near your house? Incorporate them into your outdoor adventures! Pack a picnic and take your family to the park. Take a dip in the water and let your child’s creativity loose with little interference.
- It’s okay to get dirty!
Don’t worry about making a mess! Whether your kiddo is climbing trees, digging holes, or hunting for bugs, playing outside is not a neat business. Messy crafts and activities are also perfect to take outside. Feel free to grab a hose and have fun washing off before going back inside.
- Try new activities
One day you could try soccer. The next, kayaking. How about a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood? Practice swinging a tennis racket or make up some quick yoga lessons. The possibilities are endless!
- Rain or shine, go outside
Going outside is something to do every day, not just when the weather is perfect and the sun is shining. If it’s raining, get those boots on and stomp in some puddles, make a slip and slide, or grab an umbrella and go on a walk. Just be safe!
- Give your child a challenge
Tell them to go outside and find 20 of the same rock. Encourage them to make a flower crown out of the leaves they find in the backyard. Give them a jar and see what they fill it up with. Let them stretch their imaginations and explore their surroundings.
- Take indoor activities outside
If you’re planning on some reading time, take a blanket outside and sit under a tree. Take the Lego blocks from their room to the front porch. They can also string beads together or mold Play-Doh out on the grass with minimal fuss.
- Decorate the sidewalk
The only thing kids love more than splashing around in water is chalk. Give them a box of chalk and let them loose on the sidewalk. Better yet, invite some friends and have a drawing party outdoors! The kids are guaranteed to love it.