With the spread of smartphones and the internet, it’s become increasingly harder to persuade kids to put down their video games and actually play outside. According to this study, children develop well through play, experimentation, exploration and discovery.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled these ways to help you encourage them to play outside this spring.
Make it a family thing
Lead by example, the kids will follow. Organize for the whole family to take part in a friendly game of soccer or cricket. It doesn’t have to have to be a taxing activity – a simple walk to a nearby park is perfect.
Invite a friend
Bring back play dates. This will not only help your child with their physical development, but they’ll also learn some social skills. Start by inviting their friend over, and teach them classic games such as hopscotch and hide and seek.
Let them get messy
It’s a given – they’ll get messy if they play outside. Make stain removal much easier by planning ahead. Set out ‘play clothes’ – clothes you wouldn’t care too much about if they got ruined. Also have a facecloth and water at the ready to remove the excess mud before they get back inside.
Let them explore
Visiting the park? Explore the area together, and make it a fun educational moment. For instance, if you spot a butterfly, tell them an interesting fact about the discovery. http://www.twinsaver.co.za/lifestyle/for-mom/3-ideas-spending-quality-time/
Create fun challenges
A treasure hunt is a great way to get the whole family involved in a bit of outdoor fun.
Install a swing in the backyard
Got old tyres lying around? Make it a DIY project, and get them to help make a swing the whole family will enjoy. Here’s how to get started.
Here are some other ways you could encourage your kids to play outside: