As kids go back to school it’s important for them to spend some time outside and play, especially if school is remote. The best way to encourage kids to play outside is to plan activities for the whole family. Here are a few activities you can do with your family.
Watch wildlife - a great way to help kids learn about animals and gain motor skills is to take them to a park (or even in your backyard!) to watch animals nearby and log them in a notebook. They can write what animal it is, draw it, and describe what it is doing. This is a great activity to use to become grounded in nature and learn about the environment.
Have a picnic - going to the park to have a picnic shows kids all about how fun it is to be in nature! It can encourage children to go outside more often to do simple activities like eating, drawing, or playing!
Have mini Olympics - this can include having kids race from one tree to another or seeing who can do the most jumping jacks. For more of a challenge check out our Playout decks and our free app, they are great for different game variations to do with children! And best of all? It builds healthy exercise habits!
Make art - what better way to explore art with kids than to collect leaves, flowers, and pinecones from the park to press flowers, paint rocks and use as fun mixed media art projects!
Take some sports equipment - want to teach your kids a new sport? Going to the park is a perfect opportunity to bring along a basketball, soccer ball, baseball mitt and baseball. This is also a great activity for bonding and learning motor skills.
Create an obstacle course - use leaves, pinecones, hula hoops, balls, chalk etc. to build an obstacle course and fun challenges. These items can be used to section off and mark areas of the park (or your backyard) where kids have to crawl, jump, or run from one place to another.
Take a good book - why not take story time outside? Being outside for reading is great for kids and parents. It gives children a chance to get outside and step away from the tv and helps parents relax in nature.
Play games - going outside provides a great opportunity for kids to run around and have some fun playing tag, hide and seek, ISpy, etc.
It is important to remember all of the amazing health benefits of going outside for both parents and children. As always, be sure to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and stay 6 ft away from other people outside!
Sources: PBS, Mom Junction, Center for Discovery