We often hear the phrase “less screen time, more outside time” although this is often easier said than done. I’m not going to give you a lecture on why they should get some more outside time – that you already know. Now that the summer is fast approaching us – why not try to make this summer one to remember for you and your little ones.
Decorate the garden
One of the cheapest and most convenient ways for your kids to get outside is to utilise the space just outside of your home, adding decorations, toys and activities can get them excited to be out. This could be anything from outdoor string lights to make the garden feel more homely and magical, to a trampoline or outdoor games set. Why not teach them a thing or two about gardening, and encourage them to help you plant a few vegetables or flowers, and watch them grow together over the summer months.
Listen to them
The best way to get kids to do something is often to listen to how they feel about it and adapt the activity around their likes and fears, to avoid them feeling forced into doing anything they don’t want to do. Listening to them is a great way to strengthen your bond and get to know them better, and not assume that you know what they enjoy – after all, tastes change and they are growing every day! It can also benefit them greatly by improving their social skills and communication, as well as self-esteem.
Supporting and setting up independent play is a great way to get your kids to use their imagination and explore the outdoors further, (under a watchful eye of course), which can help them feel more comfortable and confident going outside more. This is often best when started young, and can encourage greater imagination and trust. Let them go and give them the opportunity to take on a bit of responsibility – this could be playing out on the street but they must come in and get a glass of water every hour for example. This was you still have your eye on them but they feel as though they have plenty of freedom.
Find social events
Outdoor sports teams and events can be a great way to help your child make more friends, and to be more excited about going to spend time outdoors surrounded by new friends and a new sport/activity. This could be anything from joining a new football team, tennis club or starting to take swimming lessons. A group activity will encourage teamwork skills to be developed, as well as the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people.