These days parents must really struggle to get their children outside. With the numerous technological temptations that are out there for our children to focus on. Gone are the days where children played outside with their siblings, friends and neighbourhood kids until it become dark and were called in for dinner.
Take these 5 simple tips to encourage the entire family to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer.
#1 Explore Nature
You may be surprised at how many national parks and nature conservation areas there are around your local area. Do a little research first and make a list of all your local parks and plan to visit each of them at least once. You will surely find some favourites and want to go back to explore further at a later date. Always check before you head out what will be available as all parks are different. National parks normally have maps and information online or at the start of a walk to give you an indication as to how easy or difficult it may be. You don’t want to head out on a 10klm trek at 4pm in the afternoon with a toddler! So plan a head and enjoy.
#2 After Dinner Walks
It may sound strange to go for a walk after dinner as this is the time families would normally sit down in front of the TV and relax after a hard day. However, there are great benefits in walking after a meal and it can be a fun pass time for the entire family to enjoy. Start out once per week or even on the weekend as you may have more time. Let the kids use their scooters, bikes, skateboards, roller blades or even take a ball to the local park or beach and kick it around for an hour or so. This gives the family some quality time together and also speeds up digestion of your earlier meal.
#3 Sleep on the Wild Side
Organise a backyard camping trip for your kids and a few of their friends. Even though you’re only sleeping in the backyard this can be quite an adventure, as everything looks different in the dark. So drag out the sleeping bags, pillows and marshmallows and try some star gazing for a change. Let their little minds ponder as to how small we humans really are when under that big blanket of sky. Be prepared for questions as their little minds can be very imaginative.
#4 Plant a Vegi Patch
A great feeling of achievement comes when you take the time to plant a vegetable patch and reap it’s rewards of fresh produce. This is a great outdoor activity that kids love taking part in as they can watch the plants grow and fruit. Let them help you choose the plants that go into the patch. This will make it heaps easier at harvesting time as your kids will surely want to try there curly carrots and misshapen strawberries in a family meal that was grown and cooked with love.
#5 Add a Playset to your Backyard
If you have the space it makes perfect sense to add a playset to your backyard for your children. It’s great going out to the local park but there are occasions where having your own playset can make life so much easier. If you choose to install the playset yourself get the kids involved even if it’s just to hold things like the poles, nuts and bolts or chains whilst you put it together. They then feel like they are contributing and will value the playset more due to the hard work that went in when installing it.