Back when we were kids, we were told to leave after breakfast, come home at lunch, and be back in the house when the moon lit up the night sky. Today, kids don't get nearly enough outdoor time. Too much time inside can lead to behavioral disorders and is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic. Here are 12 ideas you can do to keep kids off Youtube and into the yard.
Walk Through the Neighborhood
Take 30 minutes after dinner each evening to stroll through the neighborhood. Not only will this get the kids off the couch, but it will also give you a chance to meet the neighbors while enjoying some fresh air and sunshine.
Install an In-ground Trampoline
Trampolines help your kids get our their energy, but they are unsightly and often dangerous. However, with the right safety measures, including padding and a net, your trampoline can be an excellent place for your kids to play. If you don't have tons of rocks in your yard, consider digging out an area to install an inground trampoline.
Build a playhouse.
Your little princess or pirate will love an outdoor playhouse built like a castle or a ship. A playhouse also encourages imagination and cooperative play.
Create a cozy outdoor dining area.
A patio, fire pit, or dedicated outdoor kitchen will encourage the kids to watch you whip up your culinary treats outside of the house. As an added perk, these types of improvements can add value to your home, which is important if you plan to move any time soon. Redfin suggests taking before-and-after pictures and keep receipts to help keep track of the little extras that would make your home more valuable than the next.
Spring and summer are the perfect times to get outdoors and bird watch. If your kids aren't big on binoculars, you can spend some time outdoors looking for nests or building bird boxes to attract mommy birds next spring.
Have a future entomologist on your hands? The Florida Bug Club explains that your backyard, particularly under decaying logs or near lights, is the perfect place to let your nature explorer begin their collection of creepy crawlies.
Track the Space Station
Did you know that there is a space station currently circling Earth right now? If that sounds interesting, download the ISS Spotter App today to track where it is. Keep an eye out to the night sky as you may even be able to see it without a telescope.
Play in the Mud
What could be more fun than playing in the mud? Your little ones will enjoy stomping in the mud puddles just for the heck of it. While they think they are simply getting dirty, what they are actually doing is engaging in physical activity and getting a dose of vitamin D from the sun.
Make a Kid Wash in the Backyard
Because you don't want mud tracking into the house, grab a few PVC pipes, pool noodles, and a water hose to create your own kid wash in the backyard. Mom Endeavors shows you how to do it in a single with simple tools.
Take the kids outdoors to plant a few flowers or throw mulch in the flower beds. It might not be the most entertaining outdoor activity, but it'll double duty as low-key chores and will tire them out, so they will be ready for bed when the clock strikes nine.
Have Fun with Jumbo DIY Yard Games
Kids love everything big, and outdoor yard games are no exception. One easy idea: buy bulk frisbees on Amazon, paint them black and red, and use square pavers to create an outdoor checkerboard.
If your kids have never seen Ursa Major, Orion, or The Twins, go outside each evening to stargaze. There are plenty of constellations everyone can see, and you can even challenge the kids to discover a brand-new image in the sky.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to break their concentration on video games and get them out into the real world. Doing so has so many life benefits, including better health and more time socializing with others. No matter what you do, make a point to get outside this summer at least 30 minutes each day with the little ones in tow.
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