There is no denying that outside play is extremely beneficial for children. Not only will they get exercise, but they will also see a significant mood boost as they breathe in the fresh air of the great outdoors. Unfortunately, it can often be challenging to convince your kids to step away from the addictive screen and get outside. Here are six proven strategies to encourage your children to get outside and play.
Organize a Playdate
Playing with a friend is always more fun than playing alone. To encourage your child to play outside, you can be purposeful about scheduling regular playdates.
If you cannot facilitate this playdate, it may be worth your money to hire a babysitter to supervise the kids. As a bonus, this will also provide a significant social interaction that will benefit your child in numerous ways.
Make it Comfortable
You cannot expect your children to dive into outdoor play with enthusiasm if it is not comfortable for them to do so. Depending on your area’s climate, you may need to make some additions to your yard space to make playing outside a better experience for your children.
For example, if you live in an area prone to bugs, you may be surprised how much a mosquito misting system can help to control those pesky pests. If you live in a hot climate, it is a good idea to make sure that you have plenty of protection from the sun for your kids. They will be less likely to want to play outside if it always ends in a sunburn or bug bites.
If your kids live an active lifestyle, it may be easier to convince them to head outside if you incorporate exercise into their outdoor activities. Instead of just telling them to put down the game controller and head outside, try suggesting a specific activity for them to enjoy.
You can support this endeavor by ensuring that they have plenty of outdoor sports equipment available to them. Good ideas include sports balls, jump ropes, and outdoor games. By making it easy to have fun and get their body moving, they will be more willing to make this a part of their everyday routine.
Make it a Family Affair
Do not discount the power of family togetherness as a powerful motivator for your child. Rather than just telling your child to play outside, you should insert yourself into the process. Young children especially crave this time with their parents. By joining them in the play, you will enrich the lives of your children.
Outfitting your outdoor area with yard games will make outside play fun for the whole family. A little friendly competition also never hurt. Once you make family outdoor play a habit, it will become second nature to you to head outside together.
Take Your Meals Outside
One of the easiest ways to support more outdoor play is to take some of your meals outside. Eating outside is an ideal way to soak up some vitamin D while doing something that you need to do every day anyway.
Creating a cozy and convenient outdoor eating space will encourage your family to spend more time dining al fresco. You can elevate this even further by encouraging kids to do homework and other activities outside on your patio table. It will then become more ingrained in them to spend time outside.
Buy a Family Dog
This idea might be taking it a little overboard for some families. However, there is no better way to convince your child to spend more time outside than by buying an outdoor dog.
You will be shocked at how much your child is willing to run around the backyard if they have a furry friend to keep them company. Older children can also be asked to take the dog for a walk or engaging in a game of fetch. This type of companionship cannot be matched, making a pet an invaluable tool in your arsenal to get your kids outside and having fun.
These six steps will make your job as a parent easier. Incorporating everyday play outside will translate to happier and healthier children.