I heard a startling statistic the other day, or perhaps it is not that startling to you, but the fact was 50% of Americans would rather spend their summer indoors.
I don't understand that at all!
When I was a kid and even as an adult I want to be outdoors as much as possible. As a kid we were not indoors on video games we were outside playing tag, swimming or my favorite playing school bus in the front yard by flipping our bikes over and pretending the tire was the steering wheel.
Even when I had a babysitter she should make all of us kids go outside daily.
But I realize in this day and age kids don't are not growing up like that so they struggle with doing things in the outdoors. This is so sad to me because I feel like they are missing out on so much. I realize that to get kids outdoors more we have to teach them how to be outdoors.
First make sure they know how to be safe. This is as simple as making sure they know not to run in the street or run off a trail if you are hiking. Teaching them respect if they are playing in the street for cars, like getting their bikes to the side of the road and stopping completely if they are riding in the street or around the campground. Ensuring they have reasonable boundaries if they are playing across multiple neighborhood yards or a park area. Let them know about strangers and how to use their voice to say "NO" if they are approached and how to get you or another responsible adult to help. Teach them how to talk to adults appropriately so they can ask for help. Most importantly teach them how and when to use 911 if you are going to venture out on a day trip or hike with the kiddos on the chance something happens.
Next teach them how to have fun. This may be challenging for you if you are someone that never had fun in the outdoors but begin by doing some research. A quick rock hunt can be fun or looking for certain types of leaves and then utilizing their electronics later to look up the types of leaves. Going on a scout for birds or other woodland creatures can get their imaginations going or taking the kids fishing for the afternoon. If your kid never grew up with the outdoors you have to teach them how fun it really can be. Think of it like you are selling a product to them for the first time, you are going to sell all the features and benefits and caution them to a few pitfalls. Make the outdoors fun and exciting for the kids and they will learn to love it.
A few things you can do outdoors with the kids are:
Take a walk around the neighborhood to help them learn boundaries
Go for a bike ride
Go for a hike
Go snipe hunting
Look for cool rocks on a walk
Collect leaves and research them
Go bird watching
Teach them about being good stewards of the earth by picking up trash
Play a good game of eye spy in the woods
Set up some cool games in the backyard.
Take an overnight camping trip
There are so many easy ways you can get kids more involved with the outdoors that allows them to be creative and grow into a love for nature and all it has to offer.
Just remember to teach them safety, boundaries and how to have fun responsibly.
Get the kids outdoors TODAY!