Monday, February 8, 2016

Simple Activities to Get Your Kids Away From the Screens and Outdoors

Nowadays, children are born inundated by technology. So it's no surprise that children are spending more hours in front of a screen at earlier ages. It's this readily available technology that makes it more important than ever to encourage your kids to put down the electronics and head outside. Here are few ways to get your kids to give their eyes a break and their lungs a dose of fresh air.

Create Relatable Hobbies

Introduce them to outdoor hobbies that they already show an interest in. If your children love the "Shaun White Skateboarding" video game, surprise them with a skateboard and a pair of skate shoes and challenge them to try some of the tricks themselves. If "Lego Marvel Super Heroes" is more their style, create a superhero obstacle course in the backyard. To get more outside time with the kids, have them help build the obstacle course with you. Then, invite some friends over to run the course.

Organize Neighborhood Adventures

Gather up some neighbors and create a monthly challenge, activity or contest. Create a scavenger hunt that takes them to different locations throughout the neighborhood and conclude with an outdoor pizza party. The losing team gets clean up duty and the winning team gets a special prize.

Have a Water Wars Party

In the hot summer months, it can be an even bigger challenge to get your children outside. This is the perfect time to have a water wars party. Set up a slip and slide, and have each kid bring an arsenal of water ammunition (water guns, water balloons, etc.). End the day with a refreshing summer picnic to give the kids time to dry off before loading up in the car.

Go Camping

Grab some tents, sleeping bags and s'mores essentials and head to a campsite outside of the city for the weekend. The only rule: no electronics allowed. Plan an action-packed weekend by selecting a campground with added experiences like zip-lining, parasailing and hiking, or opt for a secluded experience by heading off the trail. If camping is limited in your area, set up some tents in your backyard instead.

Look for Wildlife

You don't need to join an exotic safari tour to check out wildlife. Grab some binoculars and a list of common backyard birds and go bird watching in the park. If you have a chance to get to a more secluded natural habitat, expand your sighting list to fit your location.

Create a Photo Safari

Expand your wildlife watching adventures and create a photo safari excursion. Equip your wildlife watchers with disposable cameras and a list of outdoor sights to capture. Once the safari is done, have the photos developed and create a scrapbook to commemorate the experience. Make this a quarterly or annual adventure, and watch how the photos progress and change as your children grow and begin to see the world differently.

Check out the Get Outside Challenge

Need more outdoor adventure ideas? Check out the Get Outside Challenge to get inspired with creative outdoor activities. Create a monthly competition in your family to see who can check off the most things each month. Let the winner add a new item to the challenge.

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