Outdoor play is one of the essential parts of childhood. Children need to step out into the open (with suitable supervision and settings), explore their surroundings, be curious about what is around them and find joy in learning new things.
A recent study showed that children today spend less than half of their time outside compared to their parents. But what are they missing?
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
Growth, coordination, and movement of the body are dependent on physical activities. When children play outdoors, they increase their ability to walk, run, balance, jump, climb, throw, run and skip.
Outdoor play allows children to gain social skills by interacting, collaborating, and negotiating – critical life skills that help an individual when started early.
Being outdoors gives children the opportunity to play pretend and make up games and scenarios, which develops their imagination.
Understand the Natural World
Children learn about the world and their surroundings when they are outside. They learn about animals, nature, weather, people, buildings, and many things that improve their knowledge and workings of the world.
So, what is the problem?
Kids prefer to stay indoors instead of going outside.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to get your kids more excited about spending time outdoors, and here is how you can do it:
Find a park or play area
Parks are a wonderful way to lure your kids outdoors while keeping them active and promoting social interaction with others — it can even have a calming effect!
Making this a regular practice and being excited as a parent will, so if you want to keep your kids from becoming bored, this may be a good direction to go.
Go for a Family Picnic
Making outdoor time a family picnic can emphasize bonding time instead of making your kids feel like you are forcing them to spend time outside.
A picnic is a perfect opportunity to explore various elements around you – several types of trees, and birds, flora, and fauna.
Get a pet
When you own a pet, especially a dog, there is no escaping the outdoors. Provided you can take good care of the pet, and you have the necessary infrastructure. Pets will encourage your kids to play with them — just make sure you adopt a pet that is good with children.
Go with your little ones when you walk your dog; this will give them a sense of responsibility and teach them how to take care of a pet.
Keep in mind that owning a pet is a responsibility and a long-term commitment before bringing a pet into your family.
Fly a Kite
Flying is always fascinating to people of all ages. Flying a kite has educational value because kids can improve their attention span and observation skills, and it is a great activity that is engaging and entertaining.
Ensure you are in a safe and well-guarded, environment and make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions of being on a rooftop.
Make your own games and activities
Children love games and activities. Whether you stay in your backyard, go camping, or head to a park, get creative and involve your kids in some educational yet fun games and activities. For example, identifying different flowers, counting red cars, collecting pebbles etc.
Activities during lockdown
Although lockdown restricts movement outside, it is possible to still do some activities to make sure your children get the benefits.
There are many things children can still do during lockdown. Games like treasure hunt, tag, detective, and fun options to consider. You can still play with your pet and take them for short walks. Indoor games and exercises are still a great option.
To make it easier for you to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors, establish rules about electronics and minimum outdoor time — but make sure you follow them, too.
Once your children get into the groove, you will observe improvements in their personality and health. Just ensure outdoor time is coupled with necessary safety and protection.