The weather is warming up and that means that (in most cases), outdoor time is getting easier. While our family loves the snow and misses it when it’s gone, we certainly don’t miss the massive effort it takes to get everyone dressed and out the door. There’s less gear to navigate through and it’s just takes less effort to get out the door and (usually) stay there.
However, kids are kids – they’re impressive little beings that have a mind of their own (good golly, do they ever) and sometimes, while it’s in their best interest, going outside and staying outside isn’t exactly what they had in mind. That coupled with the fact that school will be out soon and routines have to be readjusted, often equals some major battles.
First of all, a couple reminders as to why them being outside is good for your whole family:
- It promotes creativity and ingenuity through free play
- Kids sleep better after extended periods outside
- They’re less stressed and happier
- Them outside means less of a mess inside!
- It encourages problem-solving
Personally my kids are fickle – sometimes they’re begging me to come outside and sometimes I can’t get them out the door, no matter what I do. Here’s some of my best tricks to fit in a few hours on those hard days:
- Set up a tent in your yard. Buy a cheap one at a consignment or thrift store and designate it the play tent. You can use this as an opportunity to teach them “camping skills” too with a “no shoes in the tent” rule, learning how to set it up, etc.
- Eat outside
- Set up a simple treasure hunt. This is one we did.
- Go on a walk/bike ride with a fun destination (creek to play in, ice cream, playground, etc.)
- Blow bubbles. They are super cheap and get most kids running to chase them (an added bonus)
- Build a simple mud kitchen (we used an old plastic kitchen someone was getting rid of and old dishes, but you can be much more elaborate than us!)
- Have a backyard campfire
- Add water (to buckets, a small swimming pool, etc.) <– with parent supervision
- Build an obstacle course
- Draw a treasure map and have them follow simple clues to a small treat
But the best way to get kids outside? Go out with them and join in the fun!
How do you get your stubborn indoor-loving kids outside?
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