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How do you encourage your kids to play outside?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
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children playing, play
Photo by E. J. Fox.

How do you lure your kids away from indoor pursuits like books, TV and computer games to get outdoors and get some exercise?

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Most important is to make sure, if your kids are in your backyard...that they have cover from the hot sun.
Sand pits are great for little ones, and they should always be covered at night.

Plenty of bright colour toys, from the second hand shop.(no need to buy new).

A safe swing set, or play gym...you can attach plenty of fun things for them to use.
An old set of small pans, also for the sand pit and a cheep set of large plastic spoons, and cups.Children need a lot of different items, because their minds are constantly on the go!
They love change, and challenge....some mums do donate certain toys once month, so the kids do not get board.
Balls are wonderful, lots of different colours.
You can also buy a cheap baby bath, fill with water..and buy a toy that is battery operated, and is a fish that swims around(2 or three is better).

If you have a cat! it too will have Fun! with the kids trying to scoop out the toy fish.

You can also buy a 'bubble machine' you put the bubble mixture into, it runs on batteries and makes bubbles all the time!(that is about $35 at a good toy shop).
Little tables are no good outside, kids stand on them..and fall or jump off.

Old blankets too are great, if they want to lay down....and 'if' you can ever get your hands on a very large cardboard box! kids love them.

Something for kids most ages, Invest in a very good trampoline...now have sides.They are wonderful way to exercise, plus they are great for kids 3 to 13.
Make sure you get one that is not too cheap!

Do not buy the older ones, they are too dangerous.

On weekends...when you &
the family can do something together.The sky is the limit.

It would seem, kids do not like the things kids use to do!

Too many want to stay in, and t.v. or games on computer...has become a
huge issue!.
I have gone through this, and one really has to say ''we are going out today''...pull the plug on your gaming!!!!!

Once out you can then do a great deal.Google for ''what's on this weekend'' in your state.

This is a social problem...not one that we have caused as parents, the world is changing, so we have to try to 'checkmate' at times.
All great suggestions, thanks!
Firstly, I think it's important that parents set a good example and demonstrate personally that it's fun to do active things out-of-doors. When children are younger, try to do outdoor things together as a family (cycling, bushwalking, camping, etc) as much as possible. If kids get a taste for these activities when they're young, they will often keep them up independently as they get older. Encourage them to join the scouts or to try out various kinds of sports to see what they like...either team sports or individual ones like gymnastics or BMX biking.
I find if I model positive outdoor behavior, the kids just follow (pull out the power cords if necessary) - get them gardening and plant some flowers for them to water and watch them grow together. Outdoor craft is so much fun - teach kids to appreciate nature, make rock mandalas, let them get muddy and let their feet touch the earth.
by Lucy
Ooh, rock mandalas are a great idea! Not so many rocks where we are but we could do it with leaves perhaps.
My little ones are big on nature walks. They like to collect interesting rocks and leaves and stuff. If you have a creek or a river nearby "Pooh sticks" is a fun game (you throw sticks off one side of a bridge and race to see whose stick makes it out the other side first).

Trampolines are fantastic, especially the new kind with nets and padding so they don't constantly fall off off or hurt themselves on the metal edge. Sure, my generation survived the old fashioned kind but there were a few broken arms and bumped heads that could have been avoided.

Bikes and tricycles can also be great fun.
Spending quality time with children playing outdoor games
I'd lock the door!
Quite often I turn the power off, and then start scrubbing floors, or listing chores. Anyone left inside gets extra jobs, and that applies until I can't stand the quiet, which is just before dinner time. After the dishes are done I still have them slaving by resetting all the clocks.
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