|The first time my son discovered splashing in the mud. How could I be annoyed with the mess with that smile?|
Include friends. This is the best way I have found to get my kids excited about going outdoors. My son is super social and loves any chance to be with people.
|Much easier to get kids excited about an activity when friends are involved.|
Don't underestimate the power of destinations! This kind of goes along with making your outdoor time about your kids but I have found that I never know what new activity or destination my kids will get excited about. A couple months ago I took my kids hiking at Gloss Mountain in Oklahoma. The trail is short but straight up and it was VERY windy the day we went. Funny thing was, my son told me after the hike that it was his favorite and he has asked to back. I thought he would hate it because it was more difficult then what we generally hike here in Oklahoma but he loved climbing over the rocks and stairs.
|My son't favorite hike: Gloss Mountain, OK. Fairly steep but he loved it.|
Take the inside out. We do homework outdoors. We eat meals outdoors. We read outdoors. We eat treats and after school snacks outdoors. Try having a movie night outdoors. Take it up a notch and give it a theme. Back when I was single we watched one of the James Bond movies by a Bond fire (aka bonfire). Cheesy? Yes, but we had fun and that's what counts.
|We ate lunch at the botanical garden. Sometimes it is a distraction; sometimes it helps them work up a good appetite.|
Let them stay indoors but don't let them play on technology. Sometimes it just isn't worth the battle. I take the child who wants to play outside and 9 times out of 10 the other will eventually come outside.
Go out (almost) no matter the weather. I think this is the biggest thing that keeps people indoors and it is a parent problem as much as a kid problem. I hear a lot of friends comment that they don't go outdoors in the hot summer months or cold winter months. Makes me sad because different types of weather allow for different types of play and all are fun in by opinion. Check out my post Tips and Activities for Getting Kids Outdoors in the Winter and Tales of a Mountain Mama has some suggestions for beating the heat. If winter gear is a barrier I wrote a whole post on DIY winter gear or, in other words, inexpensive gear that will still keep you relatively warm.
|We even had my son's July birthday party outdoors. Some of our friends were less than thrilled.|
|I do have a pair of running spikes I can wear WHEN we get ice storms.|