15 ways to get kids to go outside
Kids are our most precious wealth. That's the reason why we are trying get them the best things in the world. But, in the pursuit of the best, we get trapped by fancy decoys of the modern world and end up harming our own kids, unknowingly. Today, our society has absorbed the technology so much, so that children learn to handle a smart phone or a tablet PC by the time they are able to pick up a few meaningful words. Considering the way they learn the gadget skills, we like to applaud them for being smart. But, we often forget about the degree of mental inactivity that seeps into their brains, interfering with their overall development.
A child who never leaves the house, ought to the electrical cord that that keeps him trapped, misses out proper stimulation of the senses in a real environment. Their cognitive development is poor. Lack of physical activity affects the gross motor function, in addition to obesity becoming a problem of younger generation.
That is why you should get your juniors to play in the outside.
The adventurous time spent outdoors, enhances all the domains in childhood development. Kids begin to use their experience in future situations. They become more aware of the surroundings. Their muscles work better and stronger. They learn to interact better not only with their peers, but also with the elements of nature. In fact, outdoor times help the challenged children to beat ADHD and depression.
The problem is, how to get your kid to play outside? How to convince him/her to love the nature, when the whole world does the bidding of technology companies that claim to make our lives easier. Here are 15 ways for you to try.
#1 Make use of your local surroundings
Checking out a map of your local area is a nice way to start with. Think of the activities that you can plan specifically. If there is a river, and the safety is assured, consider canoeing. If you live by the sea, there are dozens of play activities you can plan. Keep in mind, the activities should focus on the kid and shouldn`t exceed their mental and physical capacities; fun activities which are easy and safe. If you live in a boring suburb, where fun and excitement has ceased to thrive, getting on the rooftop at night and staring at the stars is an often overlooked activity. Make your kid handy with a telescope and an astronomical book, and challenge him to identify the star patterns.
Soon, they will learn to appreciate the bliss of nature in most unwelcoming environments.
#2 Nature visit as an answer
The kids are curious. While the mature adults have numbed their own brains with serious matters, kids quench their curiosity by asking endless questions. If they ask about a nice natural site you drive by, make a suggestion
Why don`t we go and find it out?
If they are curious about a picture of some beautiful place, make a promise to take them there, and keep it. Be as curious as your own kid. When answering, sound as a concerned adult. By sharing the curious attitude, you become their partner, and the visit will be a good bonding activity.
#3 Fall is about leaves
Don`t be obsessed about cleaning the fallen leaves in the fall. Let the leaves be, for some time, and permit your kid to have at it. Any childish activity is ok as long as it is safe and your little one is happy doing it. You can even help them invent a game play, with your cunning mind. For example, advise them to make a fortress of leaves. They will build a pile of all the leaves in the garden, and add a support structure with a window to spy on the neighbors. You will be out of the burden of raking leaves! If you think, there are dozens of activities to do.
#4 Brain teasing is fun!
Knowledge is bet absorbed by really doing something rather than reading or hearing about it. You can make small chunks of knowledge, that will stick strongly in your kid`s brain. For example, you can give him an illustrated book of leaves, fish and rock so that, he can specifically recognize what he comes across. You can make up a small challenge, by handing out a fallen leave and asking to find out from which tree.
But, do not make the whole session about lessons or moments. Lessons and exams are for the classroom. In the nature, you learn by doing and by mistakes. Make sure not to allow any handheld gaming appliance or an internet access portal for the outdoor expedition, because the knowledge is in the real world.
Living in harmony with nature, will awaken your nature eye which was blindfolded by gaming consoles and colorful world wide web. For example, the kid will be sensitive to the sound of a flowing water stream and learn to comment on the mood of a croaking frog.
#5 Get help from literature
Your kid will be reading books already or you might be reading stories for him. Either way, the good old authors have been wise enough to appreciate the nature and natural life making the readers dream about being an adventurer. Mark Twain's stories about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn made us live their lives in imagination. Books like The jungle Book and The Lord of the Rings are about adventures that are inspiring adventures. There are many titles to select for each age group.
So, why not inspire the kids to become like their own heroes?
#6 Let the kids have serious companies!
Kids, just like the adults, like hanging out with their peers. They have very serious discussions on their own, about the matters that adults even don`t know about. Why not allow this comradeship in the nature? You can let them build a bonfire (they should be old enough), and let them have an overnight discussion on whatever they like. But, safety comes first. First of all, they should be old enough to be safe, and you should give clear and strict advice on what to do and what not to do. Building a bonfire according to a good plan is a learning activity for scouts and cubs.
These kinds of experience will give them excitement, teach the life skill and let them have a reliable group of pals.
#7 Make challenges for them
In addition to knowledge quizzes, you can spice up the excitement by creating challenges for the kids. There are television programs featuring people surviving the wild with a limited amount of resources and reaching a destination. Make similar, yet smaller challenges for your kid. It might be a physical activity or a soft skill. The challenge is eligible as long as the kid loves it and is within the scope of his abilities. It is your duty as the parent to assure the safety.
Kid will learn a skill that will prepare them for the future.
#8 Give a break to potato couch lifestyle
Have you ever wondered why the kid is sticking with the Gameboy rather than going out? Ever wonder he might be imitating the adult? If you think it is easier to drive to the shop which is only two minutes walk, you are setting a bad example for the little one. Replace your car rides to the mall, to the cinema or to work, with walking. Your kid will be able to appreciate the surroundings more. You will be able to answer him better while having a nice walk.
It may be almost impossible with the busy lifestyle, but it will be certainly worth trying.
#9 Transform your backyard
If you turn your backyard into a nice place with elements of nature, and if you assure keeping it devoid of hazardous equipment, plants and animals, your backyard would be the ideal playground for your kid. It will take some initial hard work, in deciding how it should look and safety measures, but would be a long term achievement.
There are many online guides on how to create a kid-friendly backyard.
# 10 Kid is the trophy collector
Indiana Jones had a collection of his trophies in his office, or at least there were museums to keep them for him. Your kid will have a feeling of a true adventurer, if you allow him to keep his treasures in the house. It might be nothing for you; it might be a fancy leaf, a queer rock or a tree twig, the important thing is what the thinks of them. If you can afford a small, user-friendly camera, your child can become a budding photographer. He would consider his childhood photo album as a treasure when he becomes an adult.
Support your kid to build his/her treasure vault.
#11 Get your kid, the tools of trade
The nature expedition will be even more interesting with small tools. A magnifier to see the small things better, a pair of binoculars and a scrapbook to jot important things down, would be stimulants for his outdoor life.
# 12 Let the kid decide
Kids hate being forced to do something. This happens at school and at home. It is true that some things that kids hate, should be done by them. But this rule applies not so strictly when it comes to outdoor activity. Make the decisions with your kids. Talk with them when choosing a spot to visit. If you disagree, explain it nicely.
The kid will not hesitate to go on an expedition that he has decided. Moreover, he will feel important.
#13 Encourage in community work
There are many clubs and societies that promote nature activities. Encourage your kid to take part in them. For example you can allow him to help a party to clean a site, or engage in public awareness activities.
The rapport with the community will also build up by this method.
# 14 Lunching outside
Having a meal is fun. Having a meal outside is even more pleasurable. Organize a small picnic in the backyard or a park nearby. Your kid will learn to have a relaxed meal in peaceful environment. You can have a nice conversation while eating.
This is quite beneficial than, filing up the stomach with fast foods while staring at a game console screen, not even bothering to answer a question from anybody.
#15 Family events, outside
The fun occasions that are meant to build the family affinity, can be organized out of the house. All the members can take part in a biking tour. A birthday party will look nice and refreshing in a park. These activities will be healthier and merrier than a movie night, which is no different from home theatre experience.
In conclusion, there are many ways you can get your kid to play outside. You can rethink what is listed here, modify them and even think new methods. Growing up, your kid will be grateful for all these. If not, you will already be happy and content about what you have done.