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5 Ways to Get Your Kids Outside

Heather Smith

Guest Blogger: Heather of Our Kids Mom

When I was little, I remember begging to go outside to play with the neighborhood children the minute I was done with breakfast and wasn’t ready to settle down inside until the sun set after dinner. I would be exhausted, smelly, dirty and very happy.

I am now the mother of four ages 20, 15, 5 and 4. It’s interesting how different personalities dictate the types of activities they are interested in. Two of my four would prefer to stay inside and read, do crafts, watch TV, play video games etc. The other two want to climb trees, jump on the trampoline, see how many different ways they can ride a bike, dig in the dirt/sand and collect bugs.

It’s apparent that some children need the encouragement (or push) to head outside to explore, play and learn. Here are a few ideas to get your kids (and you!) outside:

  1. Play a group game: By teaching your children games from your childhood like Four Square, Red Rover, Capture the Flag, Kick the Can, Tag or Ghost in the Graveyard you are creating bonding time, memories and promoting physical activity all while enjoying yourself!
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt: Make a list of unique items that are a not easily found but can be found near your home. You can do this as a cooperative game or competitive game by setting a time limit and counting the items found by each group at the end.
  3. Nature Walk Bingo: Make a few Bingo charts with pictures of items you want them to keep an eye out for (e.g.. acorns, squirrels, a particular bird, fish etc.) and then take a nature walk!
  4. Picnic in the park: Bring a picnic lunch and let the kids run wild. This gives them the opportunity to interact with other kids and play on things they may not have a chance to play with otherwise, like the jungle gym or see-saw.
  5. Cloud watching: My kids and I like to lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by. We like to point out and identify funny and then watch how the clouds change as they move across the sky. This can be combined with picnic in the park!

This is just a handful of ideas to help get your non-adventurous kids outside and get their creative juices flowing. Once they start moving, soaking in the sun and watching nature their curiosity will take over and you may have to drag them back inside!

48 Responses to “5 Ways to Get Your Kids Outside”

  1. Missy L says:

    I love the picnics idea. We’ve been doing that more lately. I know that when winter hits I’ll really miss being able to do picnics with the kids so really trying to enjoy the outdoors now.

  2. Kathy Pease says:

    These are all great fun tips for getting outside. my son loves being outside but i do worry after I contracted Lyme Disease in our yard from an infected tick.One word of advice to parents would be to make sure that you do nightly tick checks on your child and make sure they use repellant when going outdoors.I would hate to see anyones child get this disease or the many others ticks carry

  3. Carly says:

    A hike through the woods is fun for the whole family.

  4. Susan Smith says:

    We walk around our local park and check out nature pointing out bugs, animals and leaves we see that are different from the last time we went there. It’s a great way to get some exercise and learn about nature.

  5. Carolyn K. says:

    Great post Heather! I love the cloud watching idea, I have fond memories of doing that myself as a child. :)

  6. amy says:

    I love these ideas! Luckily my kids don’t seem to need the push to go outside..but I need to give them more freedom instead!

  7. Trisha McKee says:

    I love the nature bingo idea and am definitely using that. I usually organize games of kickball and volleyball with the neighborhood kids.
    And although it was at night, my daughter and I camped out during the meteor shower a few nights in a row. We brought out the radio, some blankets, and watched the shooting stars for hours!

  8. Richard Hicks says:

    very well put! Kids need to get outside and romp and have fun. They need to get away from all the electronic gadgets

    brich22 at earthlink dot net

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