Playing is good for children, especially playing outside. It’s one of the best ways for kids to learn, have fun, and stay healthy. When they play outside, they learn how to interact socially and also develop creativity. Playing outside is also almost always a physical activity, involving plenty of running around.
Unfortunately, while kids played outside more commonly a few decades ago, children now are often drawn to indoor activities. This isn’t to say that there’s something wrong with kids preferring to play quietly, play video games, or read, but outdoor play does have a large role to play in healthy development and should be discouraged as part of their routine.
So, how can you encourage your kids to play outside, without feeling as though you’re having to force them? Here are some ideas to help.
Camping is a fantastic way to encourage your kids to enjoy the outdoor world, while also spending time together as a family. If you’re looking to save money on a weekend away, a camping trip is a great option.
The key is to keep camping fun. Start camping trips while your kids are still young. Every child is different, but you’ll often find that preteen children are often more interested in camping than older kids. You don’t want to feel as though you’re dragging your children out of their nice warm homes to be uncomfortable while camping.
On this note, you also want to be well-prepared for camping. There’s no right or wrong way to camp. Some people like all the mod-cons nearby, while others prefer a wilder experience. However, if you are planning on camping comfortably and end up forgetting something or failing to stock up, your wilder experience will be much less enjoyable.
If you live near a body of water or beach, then you’ve got an amazing opportunity to get your kids involved in some watersports. One option that can work for different families is paddle boarding.
Paddle boarding is such a good activity to get involved in because you can alter your experience. For example, you can start kids off on the best inflatable paddle board that’s easy for them to use and have fun near the beach.
You can also get paddle boards that are good to relax on and float on the water, or paddle boards for a more exciting experience. It’s up to you.
If your children are more athletic, they might be more interested in playing sports. Team sports are an excellent way for your kids to make friends with similar interests, and they can also get plenty of exercise as they get better at their chosen sport.
Even better, you have loads of options to choose from, so you’re sure to find something your child will be interested in. There are popular team sport options, but you can also find more varied options if they don’t suit your child.
While team sports are a wonderful option, you can also find sports that focus more on personal bests and excelling at a specific skill, such as athletics or dancing.
Hiking and Exploring Nature
The natural world is full of wonders, as long as you know where to look. Family hikes can encourage your children to explore these wonders and learn more about the world around them.
Again, it’s important to make these hikes interesting for your children and cater the experience to their needs. A small child won’t appreciate a twenty-mile hike, but an older teenager might be able to manage a more intensive walk than young children.
You also need to consider their interests. Some kids are more athletic than others, so bear this in mind when planning your hike.
A hike or bike ride is a great opportunity to spend time with your children and talk to them in a relaxed setting. If they’re younger, they might enjoy learning about the trees and animals around them, and you can try to spot specific plants.
Older teenagers might appreciate the opportunity to talk about something they are concerned about without feeling as though they’re being lectured. They might even enjoy a few moments of peace.
The modern world is focused on screens and sitting around, but the great outdoors still has plenty to offer. Being outside is good for your physical and mental health, and the same applies to your children, no matter how old they are or what they’re interested in.