Ideas to get those kids off the tablet and back outside.
When we were growing up we were always outside. Drinking from the waterhose, running barefoot, and riding out bikes until our legs would fall off.
This was BEFORE the internet and technology was this big thing. Now, its everywhere. Its so easy to just hand them a tablet or phone to get them out of our hair. But, why not push them outside instead? Do you remember the things you learned from being outside?
Things that cannot be learned from a tablet. These days, with the kids being so used to, and dependent on technology, getting them outside is more difficult than it has ever been. So, here are some ideas to throw those kids outside and learning, like we used to!
But WAIT! Before you start, here are a few things you can pick up from your local Dollar store:
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Jump Ropes
- Gardening Tools
- Water Guns
Why in the world is it, that kids don’t have the itch to get in the mud anymore? Our parents used to BEG us not to get muddy…and then hose us off before we came in the house.
Mud is like natures playdough.
Set the kids up with a little mud kitchen. Give them some old pots, pans, and kitchen utensils and dig them up a little spot, or even a little tote with some fine, grade A, mud…or whatever is in your backyard and free. They can get creative and make mud castles or mud pies.
We wonder why kids are getting sick all the time. Its because we fight too much to keep them clean. Let them get dirty. Its good for them
Seek and Finds
When all else fails, send them outside to look for things. Give them a reason. A mission. A treasure hunt. Tell them to go look for cloud shapes. Spot the animals. Look for a four leaf clover.
Or. You can download and print out THESE seek and find printables I have made up. I just print one out and throw it in one of those nifty cinch bags with a box of crayons or a pen and pencil. The cinch bag is nice for their little finds, if they want to keep them.
Kids NEED to know how to grow things! Its so important to know how nature works. If you don’t have backyard space to grow a small veggie garden or flower bed, grow in a bucket, or a small planter in your window!
You would be surprised to see how many kids have NO CLUE how things grow, or where food comes from. Its important that they know the work that goes into growing things, and feel the pure pleasure of seeing something grow from seed.
If you have the room, and the time….and patience….get an animal, or 10. Animals can be fun, and can teach many lessons.
Things to learn from animals:
- Time management
- Work Ethic
- Love for life and animals
- Patience and understanding
- Understanding of life and death
We have MANY animals. With every animal we get, another lesson is learned.
Get some bikes and take some trail rides. Not only can this be a family outing, but it can get you all to disconnect and get back out in nature. It is also pretty good exercise….they wont even know its good for them.
Take them fishing. Even if you don’t catch anything, fishing is a great way to unwind and learn some patience. While you are there, take the opportunity to teach them to take in the views.
Rather you own land or not, take a hike! Literally!
There are plenty of state parks and public trails to take the kids on. Make them leave their devices at home and just get out there. Have them spotting the birds and plants. Point out the different trees. Look for a good walking stick. The options are endless.
There are so many trails out there, there is surely one to fit your family. This is also a great way to learn more about your state.
Download the Hiking Seek And Find HERE!
Swing sets or parks
Swing sets, tire swings, slides. Kids love to swing and bounce around on all of that. Rather you have one in your backyard or not, you can find them everywhere.
This is a right of passage. Kids need to shock themselves on the static from a plastic slide. They need to learn how to properly jump out of a moving swing. If we make everything safe and keep them completely protected 100% of the time, how are they every going to problem solve and learn to survive on their own.
Designate a certain time for them to go out and play or drive their happy little butts right down to the park and make them go play.
It seems like such a no brainier, but you wouldn’t believe how many kids these days would rather pick up a tablet instead of going outside any playing.
So go on. Be mean. Don’t give them an option. MAKE THEM HAVE FUN.
This is so simple, yet something big can be learned from this. Take your kids to your local park or public land with a grab arm and a trash bag. Have them pick up trash for a while.
When the “Why” questions start rolling in, start answering. What good does it do? It keeps our water clean. It keeps the animals from eating things that are not good for them. Make sure it is clear that this is what happens when you throw trash out and don’t dispose of it properly.
Hard work is a good way for kids to learn to respect something.
I bet you won’t have to deal with a little litter bug in your near future.
Kids get to play in water. Your car gets cleaned.
No more explanation is needed
Have a Bon Fire
pick up a little metal ring, or fire bowl and have a little fire with your kids. Teach them a quick little fire safety lesson while you are at it…and then toast some hot dogs and marsh mellows
Teach those little brats what life is going to be like if they don’t straighten up!
Roughing it in a tent, in the wilderness can teach so many things, along with appreciation for a real bed and running water!
Make them a chore chart and get them outside helping in the yard. God only knows how much work having a yard, farm, or homestead is. Having kids help out will lighten the workload for you and teach them some responsibility. I am also not opposed to bribing them to helping out in the yard. All work gets paid for in some way. Here are some Ideas for outdoor chores:
- Weed pulling
- Flower watering
- Feed and water animals
- pick up trash
- Rake leafs
- Collect Eggs
- Pick fruits and vegetables
- Trim bushes
- Pick up sticks
- Plant plants
Do you remember playing red rover? What about Simon says? Chances are, your kids don’t know these! They are seriously missing out. Games likes these are just so simple, but fun they will not forget. Lets see if this is a blast from the past:
- Red Rover
- Simon Says
- Red light green light
- Hide and Seek
- Leap frog
- Hop scotch
- 4 Square
Outdoor Games You Can Buy
Have yourself an outdoor game night. Have a little cookout and play some of these:
- Velcro ball
- Yard Janga
- Twister (this can be bought, or you can spraypaint your circles right on the ground)
- Yard darts
- Jump rope