How to encourage your children to get outside more

Depending on what age you are, when you think of your childhood, you probably think of being outside quite a bit. Childhood is about having fun and enjoying the natural world, but that seems to have changed quite a bit in the last decade.

Since smart devices came into the lives of many, children got used to getting all of their entertainment through them instead of getting outside. As a parent, this can be concerning as you want your child to get more time outside and feel all the benefits of being out in the fresh air.

Here are just a few ways to encourage your children to get outside more.

1. Sports

Many children use devices to play games, and even adults can understand this. Competitive games are super enjoyable and fun to take part in.

If your child is playing these sorts of games on their devices, encouraging this competitive streak in them through sports can be a great way to get them to go outside more. Your child may already be interested in a sport, but if they aren’t, trying a few different ones might be the way to go.

A weekend in the garden playing a game of basketball for all ages can ignite a new passion for sport and get them out more.

2. Family trips

Some of your fondest childhood memories are probably going away somewhere with your family, and this can be a great way to encourage your children to get outside a bit more.

Taking them on a trip, whether that’s a long vacation abroad or a short staycation near you, the choice is up to you. No matter what you do, though, it will probably be better than keeping them cooped up inside.

Not only does something like this get them out of the house and away from their devices in the short term, but it also reminds them of the fun that is to be had in the outside world.

3. Device limits

While you had so much fun outside as a kid, the reason you were there was probably that you didn’t have much else to do. Back in the day, children didn’t have as many options when it came to entertaining themselves in the house, so it often took them to the garden, where they had more to do.

Though your children probably have other options now, introducing limits on their devices will likely get the same result. If they can only watch TV or go on their tablets for a certain amount of time, they will have to fill their hours with other things to do. This will naturally lend itself to having fun outside, especially in the warmer weather.

Parenting is rarely easy, and when you feel like your child isn’t getting outside enough, it can cause a lot of unnecessary guilt. There are small changes and things you can do, though, to encourage them to go outside a bit more, and, in most cases, this is all you may need.

Jonathan Matis

Jonathan is a writer and editor. He has a degree in Journalism and Master's in International Relations. He has a focus on British, American, Indian and African politics but has more recently found a soft spot for celebrity news. In his spare time, Jonathan loves reading/listening to crime novels/podcasts.

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