As parents, we often struggle to get our kids to put down their screens and go outside. Maybe they're glued to their screens indoors, or they just don't seem interested in exploring the great outdoors. But we know the importance of fresh air and exercise, so it is important to make an effort to change this behaviour.
Here are some tips to help you get your older children to spend more time outdoors and encourage them to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
1. Introduce Your Children to an Outdoor Sport
There are many benefits to getting your children involved in outdoor sports. It can help them stay active and healthy and also be a great way to bond with your older children.
There are a variety of outdoor sports that your children can choose from, so you'll need to find one that interests them. Once you've found a sport they're interested in, enrol them in a class or sign them up for a team. This will allow them to learn the sport's basics and meet other children who share their interests.
Encourage your children to practice their new sport often. This will not only help them improve their skills, but it will also help them burn off any excess energy. If you can, take the time to play with them or watch their practices. This will show them that you're interested in their new hobby and support their efforts.
2. Schedule a Mandatory Family Hike Day
One way to motivate your older children to spend outdoors is to schedule a mandatory family hike day. This doesn't have to be an all-day affair. Even a short hike of an hour or two can be beneficial. And it can be a great way to bond as a family. Make it a rule that everyone has to participate and have fun.
If your kids are resistant, try to make the hike as fun and enjoyable as possible. Bring along snacks and drinks, and take breaks often. And highlight all the exciting things you see along the way. With a little effort, you can turn a mandatory family hike day into a fun and memorable experience for everyone.
3. Pay Them to Do Outdoor Errands
If your kids are older, you may be able to motivate them to spend more time outdoors by paying them to do outdoor errands.
For example, you could pay your kids to rake leaves, wash the car, or weed the garden. These are all tasks that need to be done anyway, and by paying your kids to do them, you'll motivate them to get outside and get some fresh air. Plus, they'll get some exercise, which is always good.
Of course, you don't have to pay your kids for every single outdoor task. But if there are some that you need to get done, paying them may be the best way to motivate them to do them. And who knows, once they start spending more time outdoors, they may just begin to enjoy it!
4. Launch a Photography Project
A photography project is a fun way to get them to explore their surroundings and to find beauty in the everyday. It can also be a great way to bond with your children and create lasting memories.
One way to make the project more interesting for your children is to pick a theme. This could be anything from photos of flowers to photos of people in their everyday lives. Once they have a theme in mind, they will be more likely to look for interesting subjects.
There are several ways to motivate your older children to spend time outdoors. You can lead by example, take them on outdoor adventures, or enrol them in outdoor activities. Whatever approach you take, be sure to be patient and understanding — it may take some time for your children to warm up to spending more time outside.
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