In an age of increased dependence on phones and wifi connections, kids are spending less and less time just enjoying the outdoors. It’s been proven that children who spend more time outdoors are more physically fit and otherwise healthier than those who spend more time on the couch on phones or computers. If you’ve got a child who’s difficult to get off the couch, here’s some ways to make outside more fun:
Invite some friends. As your child is comfortable, invite the child’s friends over to enjoy the day outside together. Kids in groups will motivate each other through positive peer pressure and competition to get active. They might divide up into teams and organize a sport. Alternatively, they could make up a game or competition of their own.
Commute without the car. If you have local errands to run, see if you can make the journey on foot or on a bicycle. Sometimes, kids have trouble seeing the “point” of going outside and exercising, so adding a goal or destination might help motivate them to get more active.
Take indoor activities out. Certain indoor pastimes can easily be adapted to an outdoor setting. Say, for example, that you have a child who loves to do crafts. You can offer sidewalk chalking, woodshop projects (e.g. birdhouses), and other artsy activities that are more suitable for the elements and sunshine. Similarly, if your child likes board games, you can make a life-sized checkers or chess board with some lawn paint and other neighborhood kids.
Start a small business. If you have a particularly entrepreneurial child, let the child set up a lemonade stand or craft booth to see if they can make some spending money. Not only does this get them active and outdoors, but also offers some life lessons in marketing, customer service, and finance.