Get the Kids Outside this Summer

a group of people playing frisbee in a park

Oh summer, our old friend, will soon be back again. In fact, it is just around the corner and will be here before you get the snow gear packed away. The kids are looking forward to lazy, slow moving mornings with no specific schedule. And let’s be honest, you are too, right?

Summer is the time we enjoy fun, sun-filled outings with the family but was also find there’re hundreds (or so it seems) of hours too.  Hours that are free from schedules and that brings us to “Mom, I’m bored” over and over and over.

Yes, the excruciating complaints of being bored are coming right along with our old friend summer. They travel together and even the most experienced parent will tell you they don’t always know what to do. What any parent does know though is that there are benefits for you and them to keep them busy, indoors and outdoors.

They will reap significant benefits by spending time outdoors on a somewhat regular basis. For some reason, many school districts had decided to shorten their outdoor time a few years ago. So, this means that the kids just spent 9 months or longer indoors most of the time while in school.  This means, you need to keep them outdoor as much as possible this summer!

Get Them Out and Keep Them Busy

We’ve collected some information for you that will get them outside and keep them busy, with and without you being right there. But they’ll be having so much fun, you’ll probably want to join in!

1). Technology-Fasting

You kids, like most kids around the country, have found that electronic technology is a great go-to when they are bored. It has become a habit for them and it is a habit they need to break. From computer games to television shows to video games, they need to unplug and get away from them.

Pretty good chance you’re going to have to force this on them, cold-turkey. Then take the time to show them things they can do to entertain themselves without the use of electronics. Unplug all the computers, radios, stereos, televisions, video games, etc. Hide all the chargers for their cell phones, iPad, tablets, etc.

Yes, they will complain and grumble for a while, but by day 3, we predict, they’ll have “detoxed” from their electronic habit and be willing to do anything.

2). Set Of Clear Rules

After that first week, you can give them a clear schedule of how much time they can spend with their electronics in one day. Set up certain blocks of time that are for whatever they choose to do or specify what the blocks of time are for. For example, from 7am to 8am, morning television. They need to get outside after that before the sun gets too hot. From 12pm to 2pm, computer games or video games AFTER lunch is finished and cleaned up. Then from 8pm to 10pm, television time with the family.

 3). Prep The Backyard

The week of electronic detox, let them help you get the backyard ready for summer. Clean out the flower beds, pull the weeds, mow and edge the yard. Throw away old broken, faded toys and head to the Dollar Store to replenish them. Once they get out there and remember the fun they had last year, they’ll forget about that iPad inside.

4). List The Summer Activities To-Do

Have each kid list what they would like to do on days and times they are bored. Go on bike rides, walk to the park and have picnic, shoot hoops out in the driveway, outdoor painting session?  Have games set aside to offer them up as well.  From Horseshoes to Rollors, there are many lawn games they can play for hours outside. And on a rainy day, games like Rollors can be played indoors!

Remember – Boredom Is Okay Sometimes

Remember, you are the parent, not the entertainment committee. Don’t feel guilty when hear your kids complain about not having anything to do. According to research the past few years, it is actually a healthy thing for a child to be bored from time to time. That is the time their childhood development processes and they learn how time management.

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