It’s really important for children to spend time outdoors and away from computer screens, but some can be very reluctant to go out and enjoy the sunshine. Most kids will enjoy being outside once they’re actually out of the house, but getting them there can be a challenge.
One of the best ways to start tempting your kids away from video games is by making your garden a fun place for them to be. It doesn’t matter how big your garden is, these tips are sure to entice your little ones into the great outdoors.
Plant trees, flowers, and shrubs
Lots of children love exploring nature, so if your garden has nothing in it other than a bit of grass and a hedge, it’s no wonder your kids are reluctant to go outside. Try adding some interesting plants that they can enjoy and ask questions about, such as this Japanese maple with red or purple leaves all summer. It can also be a good idea to add sensory plants, like a lavender bush or herb garden, as these will allow your little ones to safely discover the world around them. Consider giving your children their own plot of land where they can choose the types of flowers they’d like to grow.
Buy some playground equipment
If your garden is big enough then a swing or slide could go down a treat with your little ones. Some playground equipment can even be folded away to save space and climbing frames can sometimes be attached to the wall of your home. If your garden has plenty of room, you may even want to build an obstacle course for your kids to enjoy. However, simply buying some balls and skipping ropes will keep most children entertained for a few hours as well.
Think of games to play
Young children can sometimes struggle to come up with games to play independently, which is why they might prefer staying inside and watching TV. Try to come up with some games you can all play together, such as tag or tennis. When you get the whole family involved, children will be much happier to go outside. In time, they may even start playing outside of their own accord. Don’t forget, not all the games in the garden have to be active. You could set up a picnic or tea party with some dolls or even task your children with finding leaves to stick in a scrapbook.
If your kids are really reluctant to play outside, consider offering them a reward every time they do. While this won’t be sustainable in the long run, telling them they can watch an extra 30 minutes of TV in the evening might be enough to get them out of the door. You never know, once they’re in the garden, you might not be able to convince them to come back inside!
Related: Printable Screen Time Tickets
There’s lots of fun to be had in the garden, the trick is getting your kids to realize it.