How to Encourage kids to love outdoor? I grew up climbing trees, running in the field, gardening with my parents, swimming in the river and playing in our own yard. My childhood is an example of a countryside kid who spent free time outdoors. Fewer toys, more time outside and no gadgets. I want my children to grow up the same way.
That is difficult for this generation but as a parent, I can do much to at least avoid them from too much use of the gadget. I am not a perfect “no gadget” for kids mom because I do let them too.
Sometimes if we have some occasions and I don’t want my toddler to run all over the place the whole time, I offer gadget for him
How long I keep them using gadget? Well, am I so strict with this matter, the maximum limit is 1 hour/day. If they exceed then it´s less time the next day. Since spring arrived, it is even less time and some days they aren’t interested to use it at all. Why? They love outdoor!
How I do it? Here I explain how I achieved my kids to be outdoor-loving children.
Set rules for them to follow
Having rules at home for kids to follow is a must. We are the parents and we among all persons are the ones who must tell them what is good and not for them. If we have rules like how long they can be with gadget then eventually they will get bored doing nothing inside when time is over. Then they will be creative and decide to perhaps go outside and play. Or if they know already that it is not the time for gadget and outdoor time instead, then they will not argue.
Be an example
When I came to Finland, I remember when I first experience temperature dropped to +11C I was shivering, I said to myself that I can´t be outside but after that, I got used to the weather. I bicycle for 10km daily going to school. I got used to being outside no matter what the weather is. Imagine living in Winterland and not going out because its winter, that’s challenging right? Then I became a wife and a mother, I am so happy that my husband introduced me to be even more active outdoor. I love our routine to be outside more.
Give your time to kids
Every day, it is a must to at least be once a day outside with kids but now that it is warmer, it goes to a minimum three times (3x) per day. When I said outside, it can be just in the yard, playground or simple walk with them. My husband is home whole day mostly during the weekend, he takes that turn to be with them too. He brings them to the playground whenever they asked him if I have other things going. Otherwise, we are the whole family in the playground. Playing with kids is fun, they love it when parents are spending time with them.
Let them explore
Kids love exploring! My girls like to have this exploring adventure in our yard on their own. They get flashlights even it is not dark and they try to find every possible thing/insect /whatever in the garden. My toddler loves the same adventure now. He saw yesterday earthworms and ants in the garden while I do little gardening work and he was so amazed at those. Exploring can be more fun also in the forest, have some trip to the nearest forest.
Buy them outdoor toys
I said fewer toys, more time outside, that is true. Though some outdoor toys is a must to have like a bicycle. My kids started using bicycle since they are under three. Reaching four years of age then they can drive without the bicycle training wheels. In here everyone must know how to drive a bicycle because that’s the most common way of transportation of students to school. There is bicycling road everywhere separated to the car road so it is safe.
Another possible to have is a trampoline. We live in a family house, we think that it is a must to have the trampoline. My children use that many times in the day. Especially now that they are into gymnastics, I can’t keep them stay long inside the house.
As parents, we do what is best for our kids. Those above-mentioned works like a charm for me. I had this technique from my eldest and until now I do the same to the younger ones. We are a family who loves outdoor activities and if we are inside the house the whole day, it is very obvious in the atmosphere. Kids start to be bored and also I need to be prepared to have indoor activities that fit their age. Outside they can just figure out an easy play together. I bring them to the playground all the time too.
Thank you for reading and let me know how you manage to keep your kids outside playing too. Do you apply the same as mentioned above?