The modern day home has TV, laptops, iPads, and gaming devices. In a society infiltrated with technology, it's difficult to encourage children to play outside. But in reality, it only takes a little planning to open your kids' eyes to the beauty of the great outdoors.
Often we don't take the time to reflect on the smallest creatures. Purchase a bug book and catcher and encourage your kids to search for a myriad of 6 legged friends. Don't forgo playing outside at night! Drill holes in the lid of a mason jar during summer nights and see how many lightning bugs your children can catch. Once you're finished, play a game of flashlight tag!
When the heat is keeping them indoors, water play can be enticing. Slip-n-slides, water tables, or a sprinkler placed under a trampoline can keep kids entertained for hours. Playing capture the flag with an arsenal of water guns and water balloons is another alternative. And when it starts to rain, don't head back inside. Consider soft spring showers as an opportunity to explore, jump in mud puddles, and have boat races down the streams of water in your backyard.
Kids often complain that being outside is boring. Having a tree house or one of the swing sets from a company will immediately turn a rather dull backyard into an outdoor space that is entertaining. Create a relaxing space for children to read, contemplate, or simply escape the chaos indoors.
Having a variety of sporting items on hand gives children the opportunity to be recreational and creative. Maybe your child dislikes soccer but enjoys creating a new game with the soccer ball. Teach children the rules to sports, but don't be afraid to let them formulate their own games.
Finally, why not give geocaching a try? If your children are begging to leave the confines of the backyard, this is an excellent way to encourage outdoor play. Geocaches use a GPS to track where small waterproof boxes have been hidden. What child doesn't want to find a hidden treasure? Geocaching may be the next best thing to finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Technology makes getting kids outdoors a challenge, but it's a challenge that's easily overcome. Once your kids are compelled to go outside, you may be surprised to find how quickly they forget about the technology that awaits them indoors.