I wish my children smelt like flowers and sunshine. Unfortunately if there were such a smell for televisions, Xboxes, DVD’s or Nintendo 3DS’s this would surely be the aroma lingering through my home. Being indoors seems to be the modern day norm for most children with all of the technology available for them today. So how can we get our homes smelling more like sunshine and less like computer screen cleaning spray? It’s actually simpler than you think. Here are 10 ways to convince your kids to play outdoors.
- Setting up a tent outside can be one of the best ways to get your children out the door. If the tent its self doesn’t seem to be enticing enough you can get them out there decorating it. Hang some old tinsel inside and get them sitting in it drawing ‘photographs’ of their wild outdoor adventure.
- A fun treasure hunt is also a great way to get them outdoors. You can either hide a number of things outside or you can make up some goodie bags and leave clues everywhere for them to follow. For example: walk 10 steps left, I am red and hold life. They walk 10 steps to find a red flowerpot with the next set of clues. Or you could have all of the clues written on one piece of paper and they have to write down the answers to each or draw a picture.
- Organise a race day. Get out a few pillow cases for a sack race. Do you remember the good old egg and spoon game? You can even fill water bombs and have a throwing competition. The ideas are endless.
- Get yourself and your children a bike if you don’t already and go on a leisurely ride together. You will not only have fun but it’s great for your health and fitness as well.
- Pack a picnic for your children for lunch. As a child I loved taking my lunch outside and using my own tea set to pretend I was on a picnic with my teddy bear.
- If you live anywhere in the country or near a paddock you can show your children how to build tepees with the long grass or straw. You could even build little grass huts and fences. Just like a cubby but better! They get to run through it when they are finished playing and build can build a different one next time.
- Kids love taking photos so why not send them on a mission to explore the deadly outdoors and snap some pictures of the never before captured fire breathing lady beetle or the mystical juggling lizard.
- Create a garden patch that your child can plant their favourite vegetables or flowers in. My children love checking on their own vegie patch every day and are very excited when picking time comes.
- Cover a large part of your fence in paper and let your child go crazy with the watercolours. Kids love painting enormous pictures!
- Set up a huge tarp with some kids shampoo squeezed all over it and wet it slightly with the hose. They will have a ball slipping and sliding.
Mike has contributed numerous articles on parenting and child development. Mike has 2 children aged 4 and 7, who he loves to spend time with. Aside from blogging, Mike is an active contributor to a toy blog, where he reviews outdoor toys and other educational games.