7 Ways to Get Your Kids Outdoors and Off Their Screens
How can you get your kids to put down their screens and go outdoors for some fun? This is the question facing a new generation of parents.
Although the youngest generations are growing up in a technological age where they will be in front of screens often, it’s still important that kids understand the value of physical play. Kids need to learn about the fun they can have by going outside and goofing off, playing games, or spending time in nature.
Here are seven ways to get your kids outdoors and off their screens.
Be an example for your kids to follow
If you want your kids to go outside and play, you should go with them. It doesn’t set a good example if you’re stuck behind a screen indoors while sending them outside where they can’t look at screens. The only good excuse for this is if you work from home and need to get some work done with the kids in the yard playing. Otherwise, be an example for your kids and go outside to play with them. This will show them how important being outside and off the screens is to you.
Create a barter system
Parenting today is all about nurturing and helping kids learn to make smart decisions. One of these smart decisions is giving them a choice of doing something outside in order to earn a specific amount of screen time. Of course, it’s not a good idea to simply send them outside without a goal or anything to do. Swapping time with their screens for time outside is a great way to get kids outdoors and off their screens.
Take some of their favorite toys outside
If your kids are young, one of the best ways to get them to go outside and enjoy the wonderful air and sunshine is to bring some of their favorite toys outside to play. Make sure the toy will stand up to being outdoors before doing this. Another great way to get some kids excited about playing outdoors is to buy a few new toys that are made to be played with outside. This could get your kids excited to be outside.
Create some outdoor adventures that kids can look forward to
You can make the outdoor fun something that your kids look forward to. If there’s a carnival coming to town, get your kids excited to go and spend time enjoying the fun of these rides and games without screens or phones. Plan hikes in the forest, go to the local corn maze, and attend sporting events together. Creating these outdoor adventures will help your kids associate being outside with fun that doesn’t involve screen time.
Encourage some messy play outside
Have you ever made mud pies? Do you remember the fun of digging in the dirt to see what’s buried in the ground? Kids should be encouraged to get messy. This is good for their imagination and immune systems. If you’re not sure how to get your kids excited about being messy, create a sandbox and hide some small toys in the sand they can dig and discover. When you offer fun outdoors with wonder and discovery, your kids are more likely to get off their screens and head out for some fun.
Teach kids to make money outside
What jobs did you have when you were a kid? Many adults remember days of neighborhood paper routes, mowing lawns, raking leaves, and lemonade stands. A great way to get your kids excited about being outside, especially if they want to buy something and you want them to earn money for it, is to show them how they can make money by being outside. Kids can weed gardens, sell lemonade, and shovel snow for friends and neighbors to make a little extra spending money.
Create a family garden
If the goal is getting your kids outdoors and off their screens, a garden can be a great way to do this. Create the garden together and let your kids enjoy how much fun it can be to grow vegetables and fruit that will be harvested. Trade some screen time for gardening chores like weeding and watering. The garden can last from spring to fall and give your kids a real purpose in being outside with their hands in the dirt.
These are only seven examples of what you could do to get your kids outdoors and off their screens. Get creative and let your kids understand how important it is to get outside and enjoy some fun.