How to encourage kids to play outdoors

Here are our top 15 tips and tricks to help encourage kids to play outdoors. Be sure to read until the end, point 15 is our best pick!

We believe that all parents want what is best for their children. We also know that our world is changing more quickly than ever before, and sometimes we are swept into new lifestyles before we realise it.

Who would have imagined 30 years ago that we would need to encourage children to want to play outside? But, with children spending between 40 and 60 hours per week attached to electronic umbilical cord.

We hope that your family will take a step back from the hurried lifestyle to which we have become accustomed. And recognise the need for all of us, but especially our children, to have free time for play! Here are a few ideas to get your kids started. Once they’re outside, we predict that they’ll have plenty of their own ideas!

Before we jump in we would like to say a special thank you to Spark People for the great feature!

  1. If you live in a house, create a child-friendly backyard.
  2. Give children a place on the porch, deck or in the bedroom where they can display nature treasures that they find and want to keep.
  3. Provide simple tools to aid discovery. Kids love tools! Include a bug box, trowel, magnifier, etc.
  4. When you take children to parks and other natural areas, allow them to explore. Let them decide which trails to take. Stay nearby for safety, but don’t interfere or help unless asked.
  5. Encourage plenty of time outside. Consider taking a walk to the library, store or post officeinstead of driving.
  6. If a child asks or remarks about a landmark or natural feature you drive past often, find out more about it and go for a visit.
  7. Take advantage of the natural resources available in your area. Take children canoeing, kayaking or fishing.
  8. Take a few leaves from different trees while the children are not looking. Give them the leaves and ask them to find which trees they came from.
  9. Provide a tree identification book to help kids learn about the trees in their own neighbourhood.
  10. In the autumn, leave the fallen leaves down for a while so kids can run around and shuffle through them.
  11. Rake up a big leaf pile and let them demolish it. If they’re not preschoolers, leave the rake out so they can rebuild it if they want.
  12. If you have an appropriate area, let older children build a campfire in the backyard. Set safety rules, then stay away while they and their friends discuss hot topics. Check for safety by looking out the window or wandering out to ask if they need more snacks.
  13. Put out bird feeders that can be seen easily from windows. Let children help feed the birds. Keep a bird book by the window to help them identify what they see.
  14. Make up challenges for children to do outside, similar to the “Survivor” television show. This is a guaranteed kid pleaser, especially if there is a reward (a gift of time with Mom or Dad, or perhaps a night off from helping with the dishes).
  15. Plan a day trip to Wild 5 Adventures and let your kids enjoy nature the way it was supposed to be.

 

For more information on our available activities, please contact us (082) 566-7424 | info@wild5adventures.co.za

Please note Wild 5 Adventures is closed on the first Monday of every month for regular maintenance.

Connect with us and share your adrenaline photos from Wild 5 Adventures and tag @Wild5Adventures

Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1618

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