Monday, June 2, 2014

How To Keep Your Kids Healthy By Getting Them To Play Outside

Chances are, you probably have fond memories from your childhood of playing outdoors for hours and hours, until your parents forced you to come inside. In the winter, you played in the snow; in the fall, you played in the leaves; and in the spring and summer, you played whatever games your imagination came up with! Perhaps you played outside with your siblings also, or with other children from the neighborhood you grew up in. And you would play sports or play make believe with these friends and siblings all the way until dark.

Nowadays, however, it seems like the only time most kids go outside is when they are sent outside by the school for recess. And as for the rest of their free time, they spend it plopped down on the couch watching television or playing video games, or they sit staring at a computer screen. Television, video games, and computers are fine, of course, but they should be used in moderation; after all, children who play outside are healthier, their minds are stronger, and they are less susceptible to childhood obesity. Here are a few things that you can try doing if your goal is to encourage your own children to start playing outside.

First of all, realize that children have a tendency to rebel when they are being told what to do; if you "force" your children to play outside, they are less likely to enjoy it. Your best bet, instead, is to allow your children to "discover" playing outside of their own accord. You can take huge strides toward accomplishing this by doing these two things: 1) Limit the amount of "media time" your children can have each day, and 2) Take some time to play outside with them!


As you limit the amount of time they are allowed to spend with video games, television, and computer each day, they will begin to naturally fill their extra time with time outdoors! And as you suggest to your children that you all play outside together, it will draw them out of the house and get them started.

For some children, it is easy to encourage them to play outdoors; if your child does not fall into this category, however, then follow these tips, and they will begin to play outside on their own more and more.

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