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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. Nicole Tackett says:

    Nature Walk Bingo sounds fun!

  2. Shannon Morris says:

    Great ideas!

  3. Amber says:

    The nature walk bingo idea is so fun! I’m definitely trying that this weekend for a walk in the forest preserve!

  4. Amy Orvin says:

    These are all great ways. I really like cloud watching.

  5. Laura Royal says:

    scavenger hunts are too fun! We love them

  6. Jennifer Fredericks says:

    Great ideas, especially for younger ones. It;s hard to encourage my tween-age (11 &12) kids to get out, but they do play sports so that is where they get their outdoor time, and plenty of it. They love to do scavenger- type exploring (geo-caching is one thing in particular) when we are on vacation to a new place!

  7. Kay M. says:

    Love the scavenger hunt idea! This is one we haven’t done in a long time. I’ve got to do this soon!

  8. Lisa Brown says:

    I love – go on a scavenger hunt. you can get any child outside, for a good scavenger hunt, I’ll play too!

  9. Margaret Smith says:

    Just last week, we sat with our kids and did cloud watching, making out all types of animals and items out of the clouds. We had so much fun doing this.

  10. Melanie H. says:

    These are some great ideas for getting your children outside. My daughter loves to get out and explore. She rides her bike..pretends to be a spy..her and a few of the neighbors pretend they are ghost hunters. She also gets out and does more traditional activities like playing ball..hide and seek..and tag.

  11. amy v says:

    i do encourage my 12 yr old daughter to get active-and it helps when i do it with her! modeling is key! my 19 mo old doesn’t need to be encouraged….he’s constantly busy, as most toddlers are! lol

  12. Cynthia R says:

    i love the nature walk bingo idea! And I used to love looking at the clouds when I was a kid.

  13. Kimberly says:

    Your suggestions are great for getting kids outside. I feel fortunate to be a stay at home mom so I can make sure my kids seek out adventure. I wonder what working moms do???

  14. Danielle P says:

    Our daughter is a little young still to grasp the concepts needed to play these games, but she loves spending time with Mommy and Daddy and even more so with us outside.

  15. Allyson says:

    Thesea re some great ideas! Thanks for a great post

  16. Tracy Robertson says:

    I like the Nature Walk Bingo idea, how fun!

  17. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    some great ideas that kids will have fun doing.

  18. Alan Tong says:

    I love your suggestions, Heather! If you ‘truly enjoy a particular outdoor activity, then your kids would be even more inclined to stay outside longer. Thanks!

  19. Amy says:

    I love these ideas! I try and ask science question to encourage thought and imagination!

  20. […] had the opportunity to write a guest post on this topic that includes 5 ways to  get your kids outside over at Jen and Barb, Mom Life […]

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