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10 Ideas to Get Your Kids Outside and Moving

April 25, 2014

kids playing outsideNow that spring has finally sprung in most areas of the country, it’s time to dig out the sunscreen and enjoy some outside playtime with your kids. With all the tempting indoor distractions like television, video games and computers, encouraging outdoor activity is more important than ever. Here are 10 ideas to get your kids excited about playing outside.

  1. Get a change of scenery. If your backyard isn’t all that interesting to your kids, consider heading to a nearby park or playground to change things up.
  2. Meet up with friends. Nothing encourages active playtime more than the buddy system. Encourage your kids to join up with other neighborhood kids or invite a friend over after school.
  3. Have a picnic. Make lunchtime an event by packing up a picnic basket and blanket and enjoying a side of sunshine with your meal. Your kids will enjoy the novelty of eating outside and will be more than ready to run around and get some exercise before the meal is over.
  4. Splash around. While this might be best saved for warmer summer months, adding a water element to outdoor playtime is a sure-fire kid pleaser. Go to the pool, set up a sprinkler or visit a splash park.
  5. Make it competitive. Appeal to your kids’ competitive side and encourage a friendly race or set up an obstacle course. Time the event and see if they can improve their time for round two.
  6. Create a scavenger hunt. A simple list of nature’s treasures can get your kids outside and excited for a scavenger hunt. Give them the challenge of finding items like pine cones, acorns, flowers or rocks and see what they come up with.
  7. Teach them a new game. Think back to your favorite outdoor game to play as a child. Was it Red Rover? Kick the Can? Freeze Tag? Teach your kids a new game and you’ll be handing them hours of entertainment. And don’t be shy—join in on the fun!
  8. Encourage imagination. Outdoor make-believe games open up a whole world of options. Encourage your child to mimic a favorite book or movie character or “cook” up a pretend nature feast at their pretend nature restaurant.
  9. Go on a journey. Grab bikes, scooters or rollerblades and take your kids on a trail ride. Having a destination will make the journey even more fun and you’ll all feel accomplished once you make it.
  10. Join a sports team. Finding your child’s athletic passion can help set them up for a lifetime of healthy activity. Encourage them to try out different sports teams and see what suits them best.

How do you encourage your kids to get outside and get moving? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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