5 Motivational Ideas to Get Your Kids Playing Outside More

5 Motivational Ideas to Get Your Kids Playing Outside More

Everyone knows that kids these days spend less time outside than ever. While there are many understandable reasons for this, it is a serious problem. Interacting with other children in real life, getting into nature, and exploring themselves and the world are all key to good child development. The question is, how do you get them to drop the devices and get out in the sunshine?

The key, you’ll find is to motivate them, not force them to go outside. It might seem easier to just pull rank on them. But that leads to resentment. These ideas will help keep them genuinely interested in the world outside their bedrooms.

Fortunately, you are not alone. Child development experts have been working on this issue too. Here, we’ll go over five simple ways you can get your children back to reality and back outside!

1. Leverage Their Interests

The biggest reason their devices are so attractive is they have the whole internet in there. That means you have your work cut out for you. Know what your children are interested in and give them versions of it outdoors. Do they like animals? Take them critter spotting at a hiking trail or the zoo. Do they like sports? Play sports-related games with them at the park.

2. Go With Them

Modeling behavior is one of the most powerful teaching tools there is. Show them that the outside world is worth spending time in by going outside yourself. Plant a garden. Develop outdoor hobbies or just take them for walks. This is probably the most important way to help them develop the habit of going outside for a healthy life, and it’s important for your well-being too.

3. Invite Their Friends and Yours

Make spending time outdoors social. Children need each other to develop fully intellectually, emotionally, and physically. It can be as simple as sending them to a friend’s house or inviting their friends over. You can sweeten the deal with snacks, games, new toys, or whatever comes to mind.

4. Try to Get Out of Their Way Sometimes

Believe it or not, children do need to be left alone sometimes, especially with friends outdoors. They need to learn to be independent and manage their emotions. They can’t do that if you’re always micromanaging their experience. If they are always supervised, they will remain stunted and dependent. Even worse, they may come to resent you. So let them wander off some, within reason of course. Let them explore!

5. Buy Outdoor-Oriented Toys

Try to focus your toy-buying budget on toys that get them outside. Bikes, balls, remote-controlled things, kites, tents, sprinkler toys, and pinatas. These are just a few ideas. For younger kids, outdoor swing sets are golden. The more they have to do outside, the more likely they will be to go out on their own.

Surely you can think of a few of your own ideas. What’s important here is to motivate, not delegate outside play. So, be creative, have fun, and help them get some fresh air and vitamin D!