Battling Their Electronic Friends
Parents often struggle with getting their children out and about during the summertime. Many children are perfectly content with watching television, playing video games, or playing on the computer for hours. It’s often up to parents to make sure their children are engaging in outdoor activities and staying active.
If you feel like you’re in a constant battle with the electronic devices in your home, it’s time to get creative and get your children outside. Below are some helpful suggestions to encourage them to be more active in the summer.
Fun Outside Activities For Children
• Get Wet! Spend time at your community pool. If a community pool is not an option, then use your backyard for some water fun! You can have water balloon tosses, water bucket races, or play with squirt guns or water squirt toys. You can even dance and play in the sprinkler. Get a kiddie pool or a big tub and fill it up with your children’s favorite bath toys.
• Get Dirty! Dig and play in the dirt. Plant flowers or search for different kinds of bugs. Give your child a magnifying glass and see what kind of treasures they can find! You can also bring out your children’s favorite toy trucks/trains and Lego blocks and create different communities for them to travel through. You and your child could start your own vegetable garden. You can plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and other veggies. Children will not only be fascinated when they see their veggies growing, they will learn about the growing process, too!
• Get Artsy! Bring a table outside so your child can have their own little art area. Provide them with markers, crayons, paints and lots of paper, and let them explore their creative side. Outdoors is the perfect place for messy finger painting. Have your child create pictures or play games (e.g. Tic-Tac-Toe or Hopscotch) on your driveway or sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.
• Get Educated! If you can, walk or bike to your local library. While at the library, have your child check out different books that they are interested in, and have story time outside. You can also check out books about different plants, flowers, birds and insects, and take these books to the nature center or your backyard and try to find the different creatures.
• Get Gaming! Play different outdoor games and invite some of the neighborhood children to play, too. Some different games that you can play are: Hide-and-Seek, Follow the Leader, Red Light – Green Light, Red Rover, Kickball, Four Square, Kick the Can, Hopscotch, Capture the Flag, or Horse/Pig and other basketball games, to name a few. “Inside” games like board games and card games can also be moved to a table outdoors.
• Get Picking! Look into going to different orchards or farms so that you and your children can pick your own fruits and veggies. Then, pack some of them into a basket and have picnic in the park for lunch.
Other Outdoor Options
- Have naptime outside
- Take a trip to the zoo
- Bike, rollerblade or skateboard
- Blow bubbles, jump rope or hula hoop