Encouraging Outdoor Play with Your Kids
The world is vastly different than it was when we were kids. Whereas we used to spend all of our free time helping with chores or playing outdoors with our friends, building dens, exploring the local area and climbing trees, many of today’s kids spend the majority of their free time - approximately 40-60 hours each week according to studies - using electronic devices including smartphones and games consoles!
This is a shocking statistic especially because outdoor play, along with good healthy food, is one of the best ways of keeping kids fit and healthy. So, if your kids are couch potatoes, rather than outdoor enthusiasts, it’s probably a good idea to restore the balance and encourage them outdoors more.
Here are some simple ideas to get your kids outside and active:
Create a Cool Backyard
If you have a backyard, turn it into a child’s dream garden by installing a trampoline, jungle gym, treehouse and anything else you can think of that will encourage them not only to go outdoors more often, but to be active while they’re there too!
Enrol them in a Camp or Academy
If your child has an interest in hockey or a love of playing soccer games on their console, then why not encouraging them to not just enjoy the sport passively, but get actively involved? There are numerous academies and camps like the FCB Canada soccer academy and US. Baseball Academy, which are great motivators, bringing kids together, teaching them new skills and getting them to be really enthusiastic about their sports. Once they’ve had a taste of this, they’ll be begging you to do outside and kick a ball around or play catch with them.
Invest in Gardening Tools
Young kids, in particular, love playing with tools and, as I’m sure you’ll know, many of them also have a weird love of playing in the dirt. Why not capitalize on that by getting them their own set of child-friendly gardening tools and setting them to work? Get them to help you plant flowers, or even better fruits and veggies they can eat, and not only will they be happy to be outdoors, moving their muscles, but they’ll gain a healthy respect for good homegrown food too!
Augmented Reality Games
Can you remember the craze that was Pokemon Go? It might have died down now, but at its height, it seems like every kid, teenager, and a whole lot of adults were out playing the game that tasked them with ‘finding’ Pokemon in the local area. This, and many other games like it, are perfect for getting kids who are attached to their tech out and about burning calories and enjoying the fresh air.
Hang Bird Feeders
If you want to encourage your kids outdoors and give them a healthy respect for nature, hanging bird feeders and buying your kids a birding book is a great way to do both, especially when they’re young. They’ll love seeing the beautiful birds that come to visit, and you’ll be able to persuade them to go out hiking and exploring with you to see some more ‘exotic’ species.
Time to put your shoes on and get moving as a family!