Get the Kids Outdoors

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Who couldn’t use some fresh air and time outdoors now that winter is over? Just about all of us – but especially kids! After all, they may have fallen into the habit of playing a few extra minutes of video games or watching some extra cartoons during the winter months.

But now is the time to get outside and breathe in the fresh air! Of course, if you have kids who are a bit reluctant because they like their video games and screen time – it can be challenging to get them out the door. But don’t give up! Try a few of these tips – and they’ll eagerly grab their coat to go outdoors!

  • Tell them they can get messy: Yes, as parents, you probably spend a lot of time trying to prevent your kids from getting messy, but if you want to see their eyes light up, then tell them, “Let’s go outside and get dirty!” They are going to love that you are giving them permission to play in the dirt or jump in the puddles! It might mean some extra time in the bathtub, but it will be worth it.
  • Head someplace new: There’s nothing like an adventure to someplace new to pique a child’s curiosity – and all you need to do is pick a place! It could be a new playground. Or how about the driving range? Someplace in the woods to go for a walk? How about a bike ride on a new trail? Wherever you pick – just remember that new often equals exciting for kids!
  • Get some new outdoor toys: New toys are FUN! So pick up some toys that are made for the outdoors! Think about jump ropes, chalk, balls, lawn games, and Nerf guns! 
  • Teach them some new outdoor games: What games do you remember playing outdoors when you were a kid? Kickball? Hopscotch? Foursquare? What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? Do your children know these games? No? Then it’s time to teach them! Bringing back the classics from your childhood can be so much fun – for ALL of you!
  • Have lunch or dinner outside: If you’ve been cooped up inside all winter, then it’s time to pack a picnic and eat outdoors – even if it means wearing a coat. Find a park and a picnic table – and enjoy a meal! (Or pick up dinner from your favorite takeaway spot and do the same!)
  • Go outside with them: Sure, the kids like to play with other children outdoors, but you know who they also love to play with? YOU! Spend some time outside with them playing games, or sitting in the grass, or eating an ice cream cone. Your children will appreciate it.
  • Create an outdoor activity jar: When you tell the kids that it’s time to head outside, but nobody knows what to do – grab an activity from the outdoor activity jar. You can fill it with different ideas that the kids can do – and then there will be less of a chance of hearing the words, “I don’t want to go outside!”
  • Make it a part of their daily routine: Just like taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and time spent reading are all part of their daily routine, you can make outdoor playtime part of it, too. Designate 30 minutes to an hour of daily outdoors time – and know that the fresh air will do them good.
  • Do regular activities outdoors: Think about taking some of the activities that you normally do indoors to the outdoors. Reading can be done outside. Crafts can be done outside. Even activities on the iPad can be done outside. What other activities might you take outdoors?

Who’s ready for some fresh spring air and sunshine? Then grab the kids and head outside – and maybe try a few of these things!

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