It’s more than understandable that kids nowadays are having a difficult time getting outside. During the summer, indoors isn’t as hot, there’s TV to watch, video games to be played, and many other reasons why indoors in the summer may seem better and you might see fewer children playing outside.
However, it’s important to remember that an important role as a parent is to help our kids play outdoors while they can. There are so many ways that parents can help make the outdoors seem fun to help get your indoor-dwelling children more excited about enjoying time outside and joining in with other children playing outside.
Set A Goal (But Start Small)
Sitting down and setting a goal with your kids is a great way to help get them excited about spending time outside. Setting a goal in increments of time is a perfect way to start, but remember to start small.
An example may be to encourage your child to spend an hour a weekday outdoors and two hours on the weekend. During the week, you could give your kids ideas for how to spend that hour outside like drawing with chalk, building a fort, or riding their bike. If your child enjoys planning, help them plan out their week of outdoor activities by the day of the week (Monday will be chalk day, and Tuesday will be a rollerblading day).
Collaborating as a family about activities to do on the weekend is another great way to start your goals small. Planning a beach day as a family and letting your child plan that as their “outdoor time” will help them track their goals and help you plan out your weekends.
Prep For The Week Beforehand
Tying into letting your kiddo plan out their weeks and activities is allowing time for yourself to prep for the week beforehand. If your child wants to be drawing with chalk throughout the week, make sure that you have some chalk around the house and that it’s in an easily accessible area for them to grab and use.
This can also include getting any special lunches or snacks ready to go for your kids. If they’re looking into playing outside in the pool or sprinklers and want to enjoy lunch outside, pack them up snacks for a fun outdoor picnic. Any outdoor activities you and your kiddo have planned for the week ahead, be sure to set them up for success beforehand to make the process move smoothly for the both of you.
Make It Fun
It’s always more enjoyable to get outside as a kid when you’re doing something you love. As you’re able to, find the time to take your kiddo to do some of their favorite outdoor activities around town.
Whether that’s taking a trip to a local park, visiting the city pool, or waking on a nature trail, it’s something you can do that feels exciting to them. They’re getting out of their everyday environment and doing something special, which will have them begging to do outside activities more often than you’d think!
Help Them Find Outdoor Activities They Enjoy
Of course, it’s awesome for kids to get outside, be creative, and use their imaginations. However, there are many different opportunities to not only get your child outdoors but also for them to meet other kids, try something new, and challenge themselves.
Try signing them up for a local sports team at their school or YMCA. Ask which sports they’re interested in learning, and have them try out that sport for the summer. There are also countless clubs, classes, or groups to involve your children in. Finding opportunities that your child is already interested in (dance, camping, swimming, etc.) and has to do with their interests is a perfect way to get them excited about doing things they love – outdoors!
Remember the warm weather is only here for so long, so remind your kiddos to enjoy it all while they can and to have fun with other children playing outside. It’s important to remind them that the TV, video games, and other indoor distractions will be there all winter long. Don’t forget to give yourself a break from time to time and join in on the fun with your kids while you can!