Between tablets, televisions and smartphones, today's kids spend a lot of time indoors glued to screens. So how can you motivate your children to get up and get outside? Here are five simple outdoor activities that'll get them into the fresh air – no bribing required.
Do you have any fun outdoor activities for kids? Share with us in the comments section!
There's nothing more satisfying for kids than seeing the fruits of their labour, so these outdoor projects are sure to bring on some smiles. If your brood loves food, help them plan, plant and tend a small garden. The ultimate satisfaction is harvesting their "crops." Or help kids build and paint a few birdhouses to hang around the backyard. Make sure your budding bird lovers are equipped with binoculars and a bird guide so they can keep track of feathered friends who come to feast.
Encourage kids to curate their own natural history museum by searching for different types of rocks, leaves, insects, feathers, seeds and fossils around your neighbourhood. As they collect specimens, show them how to catalogue their finds, either on paper with drawings or digitally with photos they can store (or share) online. They'll love seeing their collection grow and sharing their knowledge of flora and fauna with you and their friends.
Tip: Keep a Swiffer WetJet by your door to quickly clean dirt and grime from your hard floors – it's especially useful if the kids' nature museum finds its way indoors!
This idea is a blast for the kids on a warm day – and a boon for you if your vehicle's in need of a cleaning. Outfit your car wash squad with everything they need to get the job done: buckets, rags, soap and, of course, a hose. Assign older kids suds duty – they can wash the car exterior with car wash liquid, and then scrub hubcaps with Dawn dish soap and a scrub brush. Help little ones rinse soapy vehicles with the hose – and don't be surprised if the kids get as wet as the car! For a little extra incentive, you might "tip" your cleaners with some coins or stickers for a job well done.
Fill an art box with paints, pastels, coloured pencils, chalk, or anything else your pint-sized Picasso can use to create a masterpiece. Find a spot where they can work outside – any flat surface will do, including your patio or driveway. Or set a couple of old wooden chairs on a tarp in your driveway and let your kids create their own personal "thrones" using colourful paint.
Don't worry if their clothes get grubby while they create – just wash them with Tide PODS Ultra OXI, which have six times the cleaning power* vs. the next leading OXI detergent, plus built-in pre-treaters.
*stain removal of one Tide PODS Ultra OXI pac vs. six doses of leading OXI liquid detergent, in standard machines
On a clear night, set the kids up in the yard with a telescope or binoculars and challenge them to find constellations and planets. If the weather's particularly lovely, you might even put up a tent and camp out to the tune of the crickets. While you're at it, try this fun twist on traditional s'mores: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F, pour a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips into the bottom of a glass baking dish, and cover completely with marshmallows. Bake until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes, and serve with graham crackers. Don't forget a roll of Bounty paper towels to clean up sticky faces and fingers!