Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Outdoors
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
April 26, 2011
Filed Under Parenting
Contributed by Missy Nolan, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
The weather is finally nice again- or maybe it isn’t, but you’re tired of hearing Sally scream at Tommy about how he ate the last cookie and stepped on her favorite doll and made her get crayon all over her white pants.
Back when you were a child, you actually spent time outside. You also walked 7 miles to school. Barefoot. In the snow. At least that’s how you remember it. Tell your children to turn off the video games and get their shoes on. It’s time to play outside.
Here are the top ten ways to get kids outdoors:
10. Bribe them
Anybody who says bribery is wrong has obviously never spent an entire day cooped in the house with cranky children. Consider paying them by the hour to stay outside. If you had to drag them out kicking and screaming, pay them for 5 minute intervals of outdoor time instead. If your kids are too young to care about money, offer them some tasty cookies or soda instead.
9. Pack a picnic
Your kids aren’t the only ones who need time outside. Whip up a delicious lunch for yourself and the little ones and pack it in a cute picnic basket. Devour your food at a local park or even in your own backyard. Watch out for ants!
8. Toss their toys outside
Every parent knows that any toy you repeatedly step on just so happens to be your child’s favorite, even though you’ve never seen them play with it (except the time you threatened to donate it to Goodwill). “Mom, you can’t get rid of that one- it’s my FAVORITE”. If you hear that on a daily basis, tell your son that he can only play with his extensive collection of Legos outside. It’s also a good idea to banish noisy toys like talking stuffed animals or keyboards and xylophones to the backyard.
7. Throw a pool party
Slip on your favorite bathing suit and make sure the pool is clean. Neighbors you didn’t even realize you had will show up to play with your kids if you have a pool party. To attract extra guests, barbecue hot dogs and hamburgers while the kids swim. Don’t forget the pool games. Water volleyball, anyone?
6. Host a scavenger hunt
Make sure the items on the list are things that can only be found outside- rocks, leaves, and 4 leaf clovers are a few great ideas.
5. Have an outdoor art contest
The kids can use chalk to create elaborate drawings in your driveway or use sticks and grass to construct an eerily lifelike replica of their parents. You never realized how big your nose was until your daughter used a giant gray rock on your portrait.
4. Flaunt Fido in a neighborhood dog show
You don’t need a contest to prove that your neighbor’s dog is annoying and barks all day. You do, however, need an excuse to dress Fido in a cute little doggie sweater. Have your kids help run the contest. They can be the judges. It’s not a rigged contest, because everybody would have voted for your dog anyway, right?
3. Plant a garden
Words like “yard work” and “pulling weeds” make most kids nervous. Instead, say things like “let’s move these ugly plants aside so that we have room for these beautiful flowers”. Let them use their own gardening tools and dress for the occasion in rubber boots and mini gloves.
2. Host a backyard fashion show
Invite the neighbors over and let the children strut up and down the driveway in their cutest outfits. Milan, here we come!
1. Have a dance contest
If your kids ask why they can’t have a dance contest inside, tell them there’s not enough room. Throw a stereo on the deck and watch them dance their hearts out.