Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy the outdoors, but all too often, parents find themselves struggling to motivate their children to leave the comfort of the couch. If this sounds like a familiar problem, don't worry – we've got you covered. In this article, we'll be sharing 6 simple but effective strategies to get your child off the couch and exploring the world outside. From creating your own backyard oasis to organizing neighborhood playdates, we'll show you how to make the most of the summer season and create lasting memories with your kids. So let's dive in and discover how you can make this summer a time of adventure for your family!,
Create a DIY Backyard Oasis
One of the best ways to get your child excited about spending time outside is to create a DIY backyard oasis. You don't need a lot of space or money to make it happen – just a few key elements and a bit of creativity. Start by setting up a cozy outdoor seating area where your child can relax and read a book or enjoy a snack. You can use a hammock, a small table and chairs, or even a simple blanket and pillows.
Next, add some fun and games to your backyard. Consider creating a DIY Mud Kitchen, loose parts play area, or take your child's favourite indoor toys and bring them outside. Big kids love getting messy, enjoying outdoor sensory play, and embracing all sorts of play based activities. You can also set up a water play area with a kiddie pool, sprinklers, and water toys. Your child will love splashing around and getting wet on a hot summer day. Lastly, if you child enjoys imaginative play you can add props, costumes, and spaces for children to participate in amazing dramatic play games!
Finally, don't forget to add some greenery to your backyard oasis. Plant a few flowers, vegetables, or herbs in pots or a small garden bed. This will not only add some colour and beauty to your space, but it's also a great way to teach your child about nature and where their food comes from. Creating an outdoor garden space is a great way to encourage getting outside each day as you watch, water and enjoy your garden growing!
By creating a DIY backyard oasis, you'll provide your child with a fun and safe space to play and explore. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy some quality time together in the great outdoors.,
Make Outdoor Play Play-Based
One way to make outdoor play more engaging for your child is to make it play-based. This means ensuring the spaces, and activities in your backyard are motivated by the interests of the child, open ended and allow for unstructured play and activties. School aged children spend hours in teacher/ adult led activities during the week. Creating an outdoor play space that allows them to lead will motivate them to spend more time outdoors!
Another way to make outdoor play more playful is to incorporate water. Set up a kiddie pool or sprinkler and let your child splash around. You could also have a water balloon toss or create a homemade slip and slide. Outdoor water activities are a great way to cool off on hot summer days and provide plenty of opportunities for laughter and fun.
By making outdoor play play-based, you're not only getting your child off the couch and outside, but you're also stimulating their imagination and creativity. It's a win-win situation! And if your child is having a blast, they won't even realize they're getting exercise.
Now that you have some ideas for making outdoor play more fun, it's time to take it to the next level and find a nature-based playground.,
Find a Nature-Based Playground
Nature-based playgrounds are a fantastic way to get your child engaged with outdoor play. These playgrounds are designed to look and feel like natural environments, giving children the chance to explore, climb, and play in an environment that's more interesting than a traditional playground.
These playgrounds are often filled with elements like logs, rocks, and sand, all of which provide a tactile sensory experience that children love. They may also include features like natural water sources, birdhouses, and butterfly gardens, which provide a chance for kids to learn about local flora and fauna. You can find an amazing list of nature based playgrounds in the Calgary area at the YYC playground review.
By finding a nature-based playground, you're not only getting your child outside and active but also giving them the chance to learn about the world around them. Plus, many nature-based playgrounds are designed with safety in mind, so you can rest assured that your child is playing in a secure environment.
So, now that you have some ideas for making outdoor play even more fun and engaging, it's time to take things up a notch and explore some truly unique and exciting playgrounds. But why stop at just your child? Getting the whole family involved in outdoor play can be a great way to bond and create lasting memories.,
Get the Whole Family Involved
Getting the whole family involved in outdoor play can be a fantastic way to create meaningful connections and build memories that will last a lifetime. From hiking and picnicking to playing sports or exploring local parks, there are endless opportunities for everyone to enjoy. Not only will it benefit your child's physical health, but it can also improve their mental well-being and strengthen your family bond. So, why not plan a family outing to a nature-based playground or park? It's a wonderful way to spend quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors. And, if you're feeling adventurous, why not try out a new activity or game? The possibilities are endless! And, as you explore these new outdoor experiences together, you'll be setting the stage for a summer of fun and learning. Speaking of which, if you're looking for some additional opportunities for your child to learn and grow this summer, consider joining a summer camp.,
Join a Summer Camp
If you're looking for some additional opportunities for your child to learn and grow this summer, consider joining a summer camp. Summer camps provide the perfect combination of outdoor play, skill-building, and socializing. From traditional overnight camps to specialized day camps, there are plenty of options to choose from. Your child can explore new interests, make new friends, and gain independence while having fun in a safe and supportive environment. Many camps offer a range of activities such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, and team sports. Some camps even focus on specific skills like coding or cooking. By sending your child to a summer camp, you're giving them the chance to develop new skills and passions that they can carry with them for years to come.
Creative Seeds provides several different outdoor based camps each season, check out our bookings page to see what camps are available! Out camps are multi age and service children 5+ in the Calgary area, but most importantly they are fully outdoors and include hours in the sunshine, getting up and close with nature, and finding opportunities to get playful outside.
And, if you want to take the socializing aspect a step further, why not organize a neighborhood playdate? This is a great way to get your child and their friends out of the house and exploring the outdoors together. You can plan a game of kickball at the local park, set up a scavenger hunt in your backyard, or have a picnic at a nearby beach. By involving your child in the planning process, they'll feel more invested in the activity and be more likely to stay engaged and active. Plus, they'll continue to build important social skills and friendships, which are crucial for their development. So, whether you choose a summer camp or a neighborhood playdate (or both!), make sure to prioritize outdoor play this summer.,
Organize a Neighborhood Playdate
Another fun way to encourage your child to spend more time outside this summer is by organizing a neighborhood playdate. This is a great way to get your child and their friends out of the house and exploring the outdoors together. You can plan a game of kickball at the local park, set up a scavenger hunt in your backyard, or have a picnic at a nearby beach.
Not only will this provide an opportunity for your child to be active, but it will also allow them to continue building important social skills and friendships. By involving your child in the planning process, they'll feel more invested in the activity and be more likely to stay engaged and active throughout the day. And if your child is particularly shy or has difficulty making friends, a neighborhood playdate can be a great way to introduce them to other kids in a low-pressure setting.
Whether you choose to send your child to a summer camp or organize a neighborhood playdate (or both!), prioritizing outdoor play this summer is crucial for their overall well-being and development. So get outside and have some fun!,
Encouraging your child to embrace the great outdoors may seem like a daunting task, but with these 6 simple strategies, it can be a walk in the park. From creating a DIY backyard oasis to joining a summer camp or organizing a neighborhood playdate, there are plenty of ways to make outdoor play more appealing to your child. As parents, we have the power to shape our children's habits and interests. So let's make it our mission this summer to get our kids off the couch and out into the sunshine. As the saying goes, "The world is a playground, and life is pushing my swing." Let's give our kids the opportunity to swing higher, explore further, and create lasting memories.