Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Put Down the Controller: 15 Ideas to Get Your Child to Play Outside

I recently found this post and thought you might be interested!

1. Go for a nature walk. Kids seldom know much about nature, outside of the basics they learn in science class. Take your kids to explore the outdoors by taking them on a nature walk. Don’t worry if there’s no national park nearby, you can go down a trail at your local park or in the neighborhood and spot bits of nature as they turn up. Check out birds and collect neat leaves and flowers along the way. It teaches kids to appreciate and respect nature and gets them in tune with the great outdoors.
2. Share old school games with your kids. Today’s typical six year old may not know what Red Rover is. It’s too bad since the game is a blast! Share old school games with your kids that will make them want to get outside and start Red Rover games with their friends and neighbors. This is a great game to play at a kid’s birthday party too, since there are usually plenty of kids around.
3. Hit the beach. Appreciating nature comes with seeing the many parts of it. Showing your kids the beach will expose them to the sun and sand and you can incorporate a few lessons on erosion if the crowd is interested. Of course, if your kids are swimming the day away in the water, that’s fine too. Collect seashells and walk along the shore spotting crabs along the way.
4. Go to the park. This one seems basic, but once upon a time, the park was where most families spent their weekends. Now we tend to spend the weekends running errands or at the modern day park, the mall (insert shudder here). Take your kids to the park and let them do what they want. This is a great place to let them run wild because it gives them an opportunity to interact with other kids and play on things they may not have a chance to play with otherwise, like the jungle gym or see-saw.
5. Visit a public pool. If your kids don’t regularly get an opportunity to swim, taking them to a public pool one or two weekends a month during the summer will shake up their outdoor routine. Playing in the background can grow tedious, even for the creative bunch who love the outdoors, so get your kids in the pool swimming. Most public pools are free, so pack a lunch and go early and stay late.
6. Go camping. This one is a little tricky because depending on where you live and whether or not you own a vehicle, it becomes more or less accessible. If you can go camping with your kids, take them! You’ll appreciate seeing them in new territory (and vice-versa) and it makes for a great bonding experience. Don’t forget to pack the camera, so you can take photos of the family fishing or swimming in the lake.
7. Play baseball. Gather up a few kids from around the neighborhood (or invite school friends or cousins) and set up a game of baseball at a local diamond. It’s fun, cheap and many kids will want to play again and again. This one isn’t exclusively for kids either. Teams can be comprised of both adults and kids for a fun dynamic.
8. Start a garden. This is one surefire way to get kids outside, day after day. Starting a small garden will teach kids responsibility and how to get friendly with nature. Your kids will watch their plant or fruit or vegetable grow and appreciate the process and hands-on activity that requires time in the sun, almost daily.

To read the rest of these great tips click on the following link:

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