As the weather warms up, one of the things parents are looking most forward to is getting their children out of the house. It isn’t that we don’t love them, it is simply that we are tired. Raising children is exhausting work at times, and the idea of a few moments of quiet becomes mighty appealing. Children need to get outside, get fresh air, and exercise. Being cooped up indoors all of the time is a great way to make for some very dull kids. While we appreciate the tablets, video games, and television shows that keep every kid entertained, we want them to see some sunshine once in a while. Going outside gives them the chance to delve into nature, be active, and escape all of the electronics for a while….something every parent is wants.
Winter brain have you weary and in need of some inspiration? Not to worry, we have you covered.
How To Encourage Kids To Get Outside This Spring
Give them an activity – Many times, children don’t know what to do when they get outside. I know that seems silly to a generation who were raised without the indoor options kids have today, but it is true. Give them an activity to do outdoors, whether it is playing catch, or digging around in a garden. When the kids get outside and they know they have something fun to do, they’ll be itching to get outdoors before you know it.
Reward them for time outdoors – Too many parents use “go outside” as a last resort when they are fed up with their children. When going outdoors is used as a punishment, or a way to dismiss a child, they tend to really fight our encouragement to head out the door. Make getting outdoors a pleasant time for the children. Reward your child for time outdoors the same way you would reward them for good behavior. Whether it is a little extra screen time, or just some words of love, being rewarded for the time outside will make a big difference in their desire to be outside.
Find a task for them to complete – Children love to be helpful, and giving them something they can do makes them really happy. Contrary to popular belief, children are not lazy, they actually appreciate structure. Give your child a simple task outdoors, whether it is raking leaves, weeding the garden, or moving some patio furniture around. When the task is done, encourage them to spend some time outside enjoying the fresh air.
Go outside with them – Ok grownups, this is where the rubber meets the road. If you are serious about your children getting outdoors, ask yourself: am I willing to go with them? Think about it….if we understand the importance of children getting outside, why do we think that we as adults don’t need the same thing? This is an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your child. Take them on nature walks, show them a new game, play hide and seek with them. Playtime is just as important to adults as it is children.
It doesn’t have to be a knock down drag out fight every time you suggest getting outdoors. Spend some time with the children and let them know how important it is that they go enjoy nature. Get outdoors with the children. You’ll be glad that you did.