As the weather breaks we can release our kids to the outdoors!!! For some, this is an anticipated event; after being cooped up all winter, they are ready to get out and play. But for other kids it is more challenging because they would rather stay inside to play with their toys, or watch tv. So how can we get our kids outside to make the most of this nice weather?
Get Them Outside and Involved in Yard Work.
Kids love to get dirty and dig, so let them have at it!! Let them dig some holes for new plants, or even dig up some weeds! Maybe you don’t have digging to do, but you can always buy some pots and plant things in there. Regular watering and weeding, raking and stick collecting are other good ways to get your kids involved in the yard work.
Start a Family Project.
Nothing is more appealing to kids than helping their parents do some cool stuff. Search project ideas together and have your child pick something to build. Maybe it’s something as simple as a bird house, or maybe it’s something more involved like bench. Working on projects with you will get them excited to be outside, teach them how to properly use tools, and it will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. You can also do small activities like making bird feeders!
Invest in Fun, Universal Outdoor Toys.
Bikes, sports equipment, chalk and bubbles are outdoor toy staples that every family should have. Talk to your child to see what they are interested in so you get the right equipment to keep them interested and involved. These are things that can be used with kids of all ages.
Close Down Inside Activities.
Make set Summer Rules about indoor activities. For instance, you may need to only allow screen time during the breakfast and evening hours and not allow the kids back in unless it is raining. Remember when we were kids? My parents shoved us outside after breakfast and chores, and only allowed us back in for meals and bedtime.
Bring Inside Outside.
Maybe you have a child who prefers to color or read one day, and that’s great!! Allow them to bring a book and a blanket outside!! Post up in a nice spot and just read!! Outside is a great setting to allow your kids to experiment with paints, watercolors, and even playdough! Maybe you have the space to set up a projector and have an outdoor movie night as well.
Do Some Exploring.
Not every outdoor activity needs to be done in your yard. Set some days aside to try out a new park, hike on some nature trails, walk around at an arboretum, botanical garden or zoo! Kids enjoy doing things that are new to them. Pack some snack, water, or even a whole picnic lunch to make a full day out of your exploration.