Over the past few decades, the popularity of video games, social media, and online entertainment have continued to increase rapidly. This is particularly true among teenagers and children that have never known a world without the Internet and gaming access. While playing video games can be a lot of fun, parents still need to encourage their kids to be healthy and active. This can include encouraging kids to spend more time outside. While kids may be reluctant to do so, there are nine ways to convince kids to spend more time outside.
Show Them All That The Outdoors Have To Offer
Showing kids what the Great Outdoors has to offer is one way to encourage them to spend more time outside. Taking kids to destinations that are known for their beauty and outdoor activities is a great option. No matter where you live, there is bound to be a national or state park within a reasonable drive. These places are littered with fun activities, scenic spots, and plenty of places to walk around and explore. This could help them to develop a passion and excitement for nature.
Give Phones That Offer Limited Entertainment
When you have kids, you will want to be able to reach them at all times to know that they are safe. However, this does not mean that you need to provide them with devices that are full of gaming and entertainment features. One great option is to consider getting a phone from Gabb Wireless. These phones allow you to text and talk but do not provide access to the Internet, social media, or games. This ensures you can get a hold of your kids when they are spending their time outside.
Lead By Example
Whenever you want a child to exhibit better behavior or habits, it is important that you lead by example. Spending your free time outdoors is a great way to encourage your kids to do the same. If kids see you spend your free time inside, they will only want to do the same. Due to this, you should find time each day to get outside and have fun.
Have Fun Outside With The Kids
You can also encourage your kids to go outside by having fun with them. Your kids may feel bored and out of ideas when they are on their own outside. However, you can prevent this by having fun with them while playing games or exploring the area. Some great activities can include going for a bike ride, playing basketball, or going for a hike in a local forest preserve. Not only will this be fun, but it’s great exercise and will help you bond and build shared interests.
If you have kids that are not used to spending time outside, changing their habits can take time. Instead of requiring them to spend all their time outside at once, you should encourage small changes. This can include having them spend an hour outside each day when the weather is nice. Eventually, you can have them start spending more time for longer periods out of the home. Before long, spending time outside will be a new habit.
Don’t Make it a Punishment
A mistake that many people make is making playing outside seem like a punishment. Requiring a kid to spend a day outdoors due to bad behavior or your frustration will take the fun out of the experience. Instead, you should focus on spending time outdoors as a positive experience and a reward.
Join Outdoor Groups and Sports
Having your kids join sports teams, clubs, and groups will also help them spend more time outside. As kids age, they will want to spend more and more time with friends and kids their age. From an early age, you should encourage them to play with other kids outside. A great way to do this is by having them join clubs and groups that spend time outdoors. This can be done by joining the scouts or wilderness clubs or playing on an outdoor sports team.
Teach The Importance of Being Outside
While you will want to teach your kids to spend time outside, you also need them to understand why. There are many physical and mental health benefits that come with getting sun and fresh air. If you explain the health benefits of being outside, they may be more encouraged and excited to do it. This can be a great step in encouraging them to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Teach Outdoor Skills
Teaching your kids how to be safe and skillful is important. Part of this will include teaching outdoor skills. While being in nature comes with benefits, there are risks as well. These risks could make a kid reluctant to spend more time outside. However, there are various skills you can teach your kids that will help them feel more comfortable. These can include the following:
- How to identify poisonous plants or harmful insects or animals.
- How to build and extinguish a fire safely.
- How to use a pocket knife.
- How to pitch a tent.
Learning these skills is important for anyone. If you are able to teach them, it will keep kids safe and get them excited about being in nature.
Ultimately, encouraging your kids to spend more time outdoors is a good idea. However, you could find that doing this is challenging. There are several key takeaways from this article that should help with this process:
- Have a plan – It is important to have a strategy that you will follow. This will include phasing outdoor play into their lives, coming up with activities, and having progress goals.
- Be involved – Children will always be more receptive to this change if parents are as well. Parents should act as role models and spend more of their own free time outside.
- Don’t get frustrated – Children are bound to push back whenever something new comes up. If your kids do not want to spend time outside, you should continue to encourage them.