If you ask most parents and grandparents today about some of their best childhood memories, many of them will say – engaging in outdoor activities!
Kids today are more prone to staying indoors in front of gadgets and away from nature. Pediatric occupational therapists say kids should engage in free play or outdoor activities at least 3 hours a day because it improves their creativity, emotional stability, and academic success.
Some of these outdoor activities should supposedly be done in school. However, until such time that recess time is expanded, parents should take the responsibility of motivating kids to engage in outdoor activities.
Your kids should spend quality time outdoors. It can be a struggle since most would rather spend time indoors with their gadgets. Here are some proven ways that will get your kids to get out of the house and engage in outdoor activities.
- Limit your kid’s time playing with his computer or watching television. Show him how fun it is to play outdoors.
- Encourage your kid to play in your backyard. You can give him balls, buckets or sidewalk chalk. Encourage them to be creative in play.
- Involve your kids in gardening. Help hem plant a vegetable garden or a flowerbed.
- Teach them outdoor activities you enjoyed as a kid such as biking, walking the dog, going to the park, walking to the ice cream store or local store.
- Plan weekly picnics in your backyard or at the park or playground.
- Create a playgroup with other kids and parents and go to a field with a soccer ball.
- Take the kids for regular runs, bike rides or walks in natural settings such as parks, lakefronts or riverways.
- Park your car a few minutes away from school. Walk your child to school.
- Tell your kid it is perfectly fine to get messy, dirty, and wet outdoors.
- Explore with your kids’ new places in your community, city or town. Do this as a family and try to visit as many playgrounds and parks.
- Explore the natural resources and in your area and take the tikes fishing, kayaking, or canoeing.
- Have your kids help you out in raking leaves, watering plants, pulling weeds, or cleaning the patio. Make the chore fun by playing some music and involving the entire family.
- Camping promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is also good for the soul and will increase the imagination, leadership skills, self-reliance, and resourcefulness of your kids.
- Flying a kit is not only a fun outdoor activity but also enhances motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. It also teaches your child about physics, aerodynamics, ecology and the weather.
- Be a role model to your kids because when they see you enjoying the outdoors, they will most likely follow your lead.
Outdoor activities should be an important part of one’s childhood. Kids not only lead wholesome and fuller lives, but they also get to create fun childhood memories. More importantly, outdoor activities give kids their much-needed break from staying indoors and being couch potatoes which can lead to obesity and other diseases.