It’s Time to Get Outside!
Not every kid loves to run around outside and play sports, and that is totally okay! Some children enjoy being inside with a good book, a fun videogame, lego projects, and the like. Oftentimes these activities facilitate creativity and cognitive skill building, which is fantastic. Still, outdoor playtime and physical activity are so important for growth, and supply kids with vitamin D and endorphins. So how do we get our kids up and moving around outside?
- Don’t force it!
Try your best to use relaxed, gentle encouragement. Chances are, you are not the first person to encourage outside time. Your kid may get defensive and show resistance, which is totally normal. So start off gently by suggesting a few low-key outdoor activities and refrain from using language that makes the child feel that he or she is being forcefully dragged out of the house.
Instead of saying, “Sally, you have been on the computer for too long! It’s time to go play outside!!”
Try, “I’ve got a great idea Sally! Let’s hop on our bikes and head to the store to get some ingredients to make lemonade!”
- Start Small
Outside activities do not need to be vigorous! Making time for outdoor play doesn’t necessitate instituting a boot camp program (unless that sounds like something your kids would like!) Outdoor time can be as simple as playing chess at a picnic table in the park. Or better yet finding a giant outdoor chessboard somewhere near you!
- Bring Indoor Favorites Outdoor
Can’t seem to get your child interested in anything outside of the mythical world inside his or her newest videogame? Make a real-life version of his or her favorite videogame! Bring books or a card game to the park. Play make-believe mermaids at the pool.
- Try Something New
What sports, games, other outdoor activities are new to your child? Learn how to rollerblade, play tennis, badminton, or even fence! What about an “exotic” uncommon game like cricket or baci ball? Get creative!
- Go to the Zoo
If nothing seems to work, the zoo might be the solution. The San Diego Zoo has a new Australia exhibit, and it’s beautiful! Consider purchasing annual passes, especially if it seems to be the best way to nudge your indoor kid outside.
- Don’t Forget Sunscreen!
If you remember anything from this post, this should be it. Do not forget sunscreen. I repeat. Do not forget sunscreen! Not only is too much sun exposure dangerous, if your child has to nurse a painful sunscreen in the evening he or she is much less likely to want to play outside again!
Every kid is different. Some kids play outside until the sun sets and some prefer the comforts of staying inside. Though outdoor play is important for a healthy child, find what works best for yours.