Sunday, March 4, 2012

Taking Entertainment Outdoors

Springtime is about to be knocking on our doors and you know what that means – longer days full of extra sunlight, perfect balmy temperatures, and the need to pry video game controllers and television remotes out of the kids’ hands to force them outside. As technology continues to become more prevalent in our lives to fill our need for entertainment it can be hard to convince kids that they can have as much, if not more, fun outdoors as they can inside simulating experiences. However just because they may protest doesn’t mean you should concede and let them stay inside. Instead get them to engage in some good, old-fashioned, outdoor playtime using some of these tactics:

1.      Fly kites

You don’t need a whole lot of fancy supplies to make kites; you just need basic items like paper bags or paper plates, some string, and a little creativity. Handcrafting kites is the perfect rainy day activity and taking them out on the next windy day will be even more fun because the kids made them on their own.

2.      Take a trip to the park

Parks are perfect because there are a variety of activities that everyone can do there. The kids can play on the playground, take hikes on the trails, go bird or animal watching, and if there’s a pond you can go fishing or teach the kids how to skip rocks across the water. With so many different things to do the kids will be occupied for hours running around playing.

3.      Build a fort

If you’re worried about your kids being out and about around the neighborhood then let them build a fort in the backyard instead. It can be as simple or elaborate as they want, from using big cardboard boxes to actually constructing a wooden fort, and they’ll have a blast making their own personal play space.

4.      Get together with the neighborhood kids

Talk to other parents or nannies in the neighborhood and set up times that all the kids can get together and play different games outside, like dodge ball, freeze tag, or hide and seek. This not only gets everyone outdoors and playing but is also a good opportunity to get closer with your neighbors.

5.      Go camping

A great way to get kids to begin to appreciate using their imaginations and playing outdoors is by taking a camping trip. Leave all the technology at home and spend time exploring the camp areas and playing games together during the day and sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows for s’mores and telling stories at night. 

Spending time playing outside in the sunshine and interacting with other kids is good for the soul, and too many of our kids aren’t getting enough of it these days. It’s up to you to make sure that your kids don’t fall victim to holing up indoors all day everyday wrapped up in technology.

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny service. She can be reachable at

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