10 Ways to Get Your Kids Outside and off Their Phones
Are you concerned that your kids are spending too much time on their phones and indoors? Here are some great ways to get your kids outside.
The advancement of technology is incredible, but, like anything else, it’s important that screen time and electronic devices be handled in moderation. Children are developing into adults, and if they don’t have some habits that require them to be off their phones and other devices, they won’t develop good habits. It’s also important to get them to go outside and play where they can learn about nature and enjoy what’s offered.
Here are ten strategies to help your kids get outside and away from the screens.
1. Limit screen time and balance it with some outside play time
It’s one thing to tell your kids they have to put down the devices or stop playing video games after a specified amount of time, but it can be more difficult to get them to go outside and play once you’ve done this. You’ll need to set some outside time for your kids as well, and that might mean planning some activities for them to enjoy.
2. Be the example they need
How much of a hypocrite are you if you spend more time on your phone than your kids? You might think you have more responsibilities and need to be connected, but the truth is you’re probably scrolling through social media or watching videos, which is just as bad as what your kids are doing. If you want to get your kids outside and off their phones, do it with them. If you do this, it takes away some of their excuses and ammunition.
3. Start an outdoor project together
Have you ever wanted to beautify your yard? Do your kids want to build a fort, playhouse, or treehouse in the backyard? When they have a project to do, they will naturally spend less time on their phones. If you give them some of the tasks to handle on their own, not only will they be outside, but they’ll learn responsibility, a work ethic, and the pride of doing something and seeing it to completion.
4. Use a positive approach to outside play
Find something your kids love to do that they can enjoy outside. Some activities can only be done outside. It could be sports, hiking, climbing, playing in the mud, running around with the dog, or anything that can only be done outside. If your children love to do it, they will be more inclined to go outside on their own and put down their phones. This might be your way to get your kids outside, but it’s not a trick, it’s for their own good and allows them to enjoy something they love to do.
5. Create a “bucket list” of fun things to do outside
Create a list of ten things you and your kids want to do outside over the next few months and find ways to make them happen. Some of the items can be as simple as playing outdoors for an hour per day, while others could involve weekend adventures to a local water park or the carnival when it arrives. As long as you’re outdoors having fun, your kids won’t be looking at their screens.
6. Challenge your child to learn something new
Once you’ve found some fun things to do outside that your kids love, challenge them to work toward learning something new. If your child loves to ride a bike, challenge them to do some tricks on that bike. If they love sports, challenge them to do something to do with that sport. Help them increase their skill level while also getting them to go outside and stay off their screens. This could be a lot of fun for you and them. Be sure to encourage their progress and be there when they get frustrated.
7. Take your children fishing
Going fishing accomplishes what you want. Not only will you get your kids outside, but you’ll get them off their phones and focused on something else. Fishing is one of the quietest activities you can enjoy together. This activity will teach your child patience and excitement as they wait for the first big bite. When children are younger, it’s good to find a spot where fish are biting often to help them learn to love fishing and being outside.
8. Create an outdoor game day with no devices
Do you have a day off from work? If so, plan a full day of nothing but outdoor fun without any devices. Leave the phones inside the house, including yours, and go outside for some fun. You can create lots of games that can be fun outside. Build an obstacle course, play kickball, play freeze tag, play hide-and-seek, just play. Spend the whole day outside with your family.
9. Enroll your children in organized outdoor activities
Not all kids love sports, but many do. Signing your kids up for sports teams that play their games outdoors is a great way to both get your kids outside and take away some time on their screens. Some of the best sports for this are baseball, softball, soccer, football, basketball, frisbee golf, and golf. One of the best ways to ensure kids won’t get the urge to pick up a phone and look at it is to sign them up for some great team sports and activities.
10. Show your kids how to have messy fun outside
Many parents don’t encourage their kids to play with animals or get outside and dig in the dirt, but both of these activities are fun for kids. Playing in the mud is one of the most enjoyable things that kids can do, but you need to be ready for the mess. Of course, it helps if you’re in a mess with them. Just make sure you prepare yourself for cleaning off afterward, which can also be a lot of fun.
There are tons of ways to get your kids outside and off their phones to limit screen time and encourage some outdoor fun. We have ten of them for you here, which will you put to good use to help your kids grow and develop.